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article imageAntibiotic sales for farms are rising

By Tim Sandle     Oct 12, 2014 in Environment
Despite concerns that the use of antibiotics may contribute to drug resistance, sales for the use of antibiotics in livestock have increased in recent years.
According to a new U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report antibiotics sold for use on livestock rose 16 percent from 2009 to 2012. This is despite concerns that overuse of antibiotics on farms contributes to drug resistance.
One concern about the use of antibiotics, as reported by Digital Journal, is that of 30 antibiotics commonly added to animal feed, 18 pose risks to humans by potentially exposing people to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in foods. This relates to health issues with the human body and the accelerated rate of bacteria becoming resistant to the very drugs that are designed to kill them.
A related concern is, as a new study has found, over half of farm workers who look after animals in industrial hog farms carry home hog-related bacteria in their noses. This is potentially harmful for the farm workers and their families.
Looking at the FDA report in detail, The New York Times notes that cephalosporin sales rose, even though the FDA has targeted these medically important antibiotics in particular with special restrictions. According to the paper, cephalosporin sales rose 8 percent in 2012, “confirming advocates’ fears that the agency’s efforts may not be having the desired effect.”
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