| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES Dec 22 U.S. sales and distribution
of antibiotics approved for use in food-producing animals
increased 1 percent from 2014 to 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration said in a report on Thursday.
The report comes as scientists warn that regular use of
antibiotics to promote growth and prevent illness in healthy
farm animals contributes to the rise of dangerous,
antibiotic-resistant "superbug" infections, which kill at least
23,000 Americans each year and pose a significant threat to
An estimated 70 percent of antibiotics used to fight human
infections and to ensure the safety of surgery and other
invasive procedures are sold in the United States for use in
In 2015, sales and distribution of those medically important
antibiotics for food production rose 2 percent, FDA said.
Medically important antimicrobials accounted for 62 percent
of the domestic sales of all antimicrobials approved for use in
farm animals in 2015. Tetracyclines accounted for 71 percent of
such sales, FDA said.
"The more we use them anywhere, the less effective they
become," said David Wallinga, a medical doctor and senior health
officer at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
"Against the backdrop of a crisis in now untreatable or
nearly untreatable infections, this report further underscores
how urgently we need more and stronger government action to
address the ongoing overuse of the drugs in livestock," Wallinga
McDonald's USA and some other chains have switched
to serving chicken raised without antibiotics important to human
health. Some investors are pushing McDonald's and other major
food companies to do the same for all of the meat they produce,
purchase or serve around the world.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Phil