Study: Poultry Antibiotics a Money-Loser

MISSOURI - Antibiotics in chicken feed have long been targeted by critics as a health issue, but a new study by Johns Hopkins University researchers says they also are a money-loser for poultry farmers.
calendar icon 5 January 2007
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The study in this month's edition of the journal Public Health Reports is billed as the first economic analysis of the costs versus benefits of feeding poultry antibiotics to boost growth, a widespread practice since the 1950s.

Groups including the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association have argued that growth-promoting antibiotics, or GPAs, for poultry should be banned. They say the practice can lead to more antibiotic-resistant infections in humans.

Using data from a study of 7 million chickens published previously by Perdue, a major U.S. producer, the Johns Hopkins researchers found that the drugs helped promote growth but cost about a penny per chicken more than the market value the birds gained from antibiotics.


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