Livestock feed antibiotics use questioned

US - Environmental Defense in New York says the use of antibiotics in livestock feed might interfere with the effectiveness of antibiotics for humans.

The national report released Wednesday estimated livestock producers annually use 26.5 million pounds of antibiotics as feed additives -- more than seven times as much as U.S. physicians prescribe to their patients.

North Carolina and Iowa, the nation's top pork-producing states, led in antibiotic use in livestock feed, with each state using about 3 million pounds annually. That, ED said, is the same quantity of antibiotics estimated to be used each year in human medicine nationwide.

Hog producers accounted for 69 percent of all medically important drugs used as feed additives, while poultry producers accounted for 19 percent and cattle producers for 12 percent.

calendar icon 3 June 2005
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