On the Farm, the Latest Bad News

New federal data on the use of antibiotics in food animals aren’t good, according to an insightful analysis of an FDA report in National Geographic.

Especially troubling is the fact that the 2013-2014 statistics cover a period during which veterinary drug manufacturers signed on to a voluntary FDA program to reduce the use of antibiotics to speed livestock growth.

The numbers:

  • Antibiotics sold for food use rose by 4% to 33.86 million pounds.
  • Nearly all antibiotics sold for use in food animals are sold over the counter, without a prescription.
  • Only 29% of antibiotic sales go for disease treatment; 71 percent are for disease prevention or growth promotion.

National Geographic

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