Factory Farm Antibiotics

The FDA announced that US agribusinesses used 29 million pounds of antibiotics in 2009.

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For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released an estimate of the amount of antibiotics sold for use in US animal agriculture, totaling to nearly 29 million pounds in 2009. Maryn McKenna reported on her blog, Superbug, that excessive antibiotic use is a concern “because [antibiotic] use stimulates the emergence of drug-resistant organisms that move off the farm in animals, in groundwater, in dust, on the wind and in the systems and on the clothes of those who work there, and makes new resistance factors available to be swapped among bacteria.” The animal resistance to antibiotics can cause health complications in human consumers.

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