Despite pledges to curb antibiotic use in livestock and several large U.S. companies declaring their intention to aid to these efforts, a new FDA report suggests antibiotic use in livestock increased since 2009.
The new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report highlights an increasing trend in the sale and use of antibiotics approved for livestock use in the U.S. Over the years, antibiotic use in livestock has helped contain infections and diseases. At the same time, antibiotics use in feedstock also promotes growth.
However, it has also led to the development of superbugs or antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This makes it increasingly more difficult for certain bacteria to be treated and leaves people vulnerable in cases where they could otherwise be treated with antibiotics.
A large number of restaurant chains or food suppliers and retailers have pledged to curb antibiotic use in in livestock and have taken meaningful steps in this direction. Curiously, despite these pledges and a number of regulations set forth by the FDA, a new FDA report suggests antibiotic use in livestock increased since 2009.
According to the findings presented in the FDA report, in 2014 antibiotic use in livestock and antibiotic sales to farms increased by 4 percent. In 2013, antibiotics sales to farms increased by 1 percent. The FDA released a regulatory framework for the use of antibiotics in livestock to be faded out by the end of 2016. The framework is backed by the White House in the plan to act against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Nonetheless, the FDA report suggests antibiotic use in livestock has increased since 2009, despite all regulatory efforts and assumed pledges. Since 2009 until 2014 the sale of antibiotics to be used in food-producing animals increased by 22 percent.
Just in 2014, medically significant antibiotics sold for livestock use was established at 62 percent. Antibiotics used to promote growth and for health purposes necessarily decreased to 68 percent in the period between 2009 and 2012. However, between 2013 and 2014, their use increased once more to 72 percent.
According to the FDA report, the troubling increasing trend highlights the ineffectiveness of voluntary industry reduction. In the face of the troubling trend, the public is faced with the crisis of antibiotic resistance.
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