Friday, October 3, 2014

Farm use of antibiotics increasing

The talk has been about reducing antibiotic use on farms, but the walk tells a much different tale.

Statistics released by the United States Food and Drug Administration indicate antibiotic sales to farms increased by 16 per cent between 2009 and 2012.

The only good news is that the list of types of antibiotics used on farms declined slightly.

Over-the-counter sales, which usually means antibiotics added to feed, remained steady, so that obviously means veterinary prescription sales increased.

That might be reflecting public relations moves to declare that antibiotics are no longer being used as growth promotants; the same antibiotics could, however, be used in the same quantities under veterinary prescription for “disease prevention”.

At least the FDA tracks antibiotic sales to keep track of trends and use. I don’t think that’s the case in Canada where, it seems, public ignorance is the preferred policy.