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.