July 19, 2018

NRDC Data Show Antibiotic Abuse in Farm Industry on the Rise

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released a statement that according to the FDA’s latest data, the amount of antibiotics sold to the livestock industry in 2011 was almost four times the amount used to treat people. In the 1970s, the FDA found that the practice of routinely dosing healthy livestock with antibiotics posed a threat to human health, encouraging the growth of drug-resistant superbugs. But despite two recent court decisions, the FDA has failed to take action to stop this practice.

AntibioticsThe government has issued voluntary measures called guidances it hopes drug manufacturers and industry will follow, but has not put forth any regulations with the force of law behind it. And in this years’ report by the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), scientists found that almost half of the E. coli samples found on meat were antibiotic resistant. More than 27% of chicken samples contaminated with Salmonella showed resistance to five or more classes of antibiotics.

The American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other organizations have called for an end to the misuse of important antibiotics in farm animals. The World Economic Forum identified the use of antibiotic-resistant bacteria as a major global health risk. Yet the FDA is pushing back against court rulings demanding it take action on this topic. The NRDC is calling for the FDA to take action and stop antibiotic abuse on factory farms.

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