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Despite growing concern over antibiotics given to food-producing livestock, farmers and ranchers continued to use more of these medicines last year, according to newly released government data. And the findings underscore the need for a forthcoming program in which drug makers are supposed to voluntarily work toward curtailing usage, according to consumer advocates.

Last year, more than 9.7 million kilograms of antibiotics were used in food-producing animals, a 2 percent rise from 2014. However, the number of food-producing pigs, boiler chickens and cattle that were raised last year also rose by a comparable amount, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture. Even so, one public health consultant said the latest FDA report suggests a “disappointing” trend.

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  • Perfectly reasonable if you think in terms of these antibiotics going through late life cycle management based on the expectation that they will eventually be eliminated or restricted. It’s no different than a late life cycle drug going generic in a couple of years jacking up its price.

    Since there are growth promoting alternatives to antibiotics they will eventually be the replacements. However they cost significantly more than antibiotics and the feed efficiency yield is lower. That double whammy will mean much higher beef prices at the counter

    So you will be paying $12.50 for that Whammy Burger. Life is about choices. If they can bring down the current cost of $345 for a Whopper grown in a Petri Dish that would eliminate the antibiotics and most of the beef cows altogether.

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