WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 10, 2015) – Sales of medically important antibiotics for use in raising livestock increased 3 percent from 2013 to 2014, and an alarming 23 percent in the last five years, according to an annual report released today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
This news comes on the heels of recent warnings from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization that in order to keep antibiotics working to treat sick humans, the agricultural industry must stop misusing antibiotics by administering them to animals that are not sick for growth promotion and disease prevention.
A statement follows from Avinash Kar, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council:
"Dangerous overuse of antibiotics by the agricultural industry has been on the rise at an alarming rate in recent years—putting the effectiveness of our lifesaving drugs in jeopardy for people when they get sick. We can no longer rely on the meat and pharmaceutical industries to self-police the responsible handling of these precious drugs. FDA must follow the lead of California and outlaw routine use of antibiotics on animals that are not sick in meat production nationwide. If we want to keep our antibiotics working for people when we need them, the agency must take urgent action."