Food Snark

New concerns over antibiotics used for farm animals

February 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

While the antibiotics for human use remains at the same since 2001 level, the use for food animals has grown from about 20 million pounds a year in 2001 to about 30 million pounds a year in 2011. This creates a concern not only from consumers but also from food chains and many other interested parties. Antibiotics are used not only to protect animals from diseases but also to make them grow faster and gets heavier. The use of antibiotics on animals in the United States started in 1946 and use is more common on chickens since it was first introduced to fatten up chickens.

The possibility exists for animal antibiotics microbes to become resistant to antibiotic drugs and transfer those to people who consume animal meat. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) administer the antibiotics given to farm animals among other things. Its policies prohibit antibiotics use on animals for the purpose of growth and ask pharmaceutical companies and veterinarians to make sure antibiotics are prescribed only to prevent diseases and treat sick live stock. However, the program looks for voluntary compliance and the livestock industry strongly objects any attempts to curb antibiotics on farm animals.

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