Antibiotic use in U.S. farm animals was falling. Now it’s not
New report shows initiative to stop spread of superbugs, improve animal welfare has stalled.
New federal data released Tuesday shows that efforts in the United States to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use in livestock—a persistent generator of drug-resistant superbugs that can harm human health—have lost momentum, five years after the Obama administration imposed long-awaited rules to control misuse.
The US Food and Drug Administration’s 2020 report on sales of antibiotics for use in cattle, swine, and poultry—which include many classes of antibiotics also used in human medicine—shows that a sharp drop in sales in 2016 and 2017 stalled out in 2018, moving just a few percentage points up and down since.
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