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Antibiotic Use in Livestock Linked to Increases in Human Antibiotic-Resistant Infections

About two million Americans get sick every year and 23,000 die from antibiotic-resistant infections and a new analysis by the FDA has shown that these infections may be due to antibiotics used in animal feed, The New York Times reports. “Scientists from the FDA studied 30 penicillin and tetracycline additives in animal feed. They found that 18 of them posed a high risk of exposing humans to antibiotic-resistant bacteria through food.” Farmers feed livestock these drugs to help keep them healthy in crowded conditions but this causes “bacteria to develop a resistance passed on to people through the environment and eating meat from the animals.” The FDA has responded by issuing a formal implementation of a strategy to eliminate the use of all “medically important antimicrobials” in animals in December 2013.

Read it in The New York Times.

Read the FDA analysis.