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Antibiotic Use In Farms Is Up 23 Percent Since 2009, FDA Reports

First Posted: Dec 11, 2015 04:22 PM EST

Antibiotics have been used in animal feed to help promote growth. However, antibiotic use in animals can contribute to the emergence, persistence and even spread of resistant bacteria, according to the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System for Enteric Bacteria (NARMS).

Though many companies have sworn off the use of antibiotics in food-producing, a new report from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that sales of drugs to farms actually increased at a higher rate than the year before, according to a news release.

"Dangerous overuse of antibiotics by the agricultural industry has been on the rise at an alarming rate in recent years, putting the effectiveness of our life-saving drugs in jeopardy for people when they get sick," said Avinash Kar, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, via Fox News.

At this time, it's not clear which antibiotics were used on certain animals, what volume and why. However, data shows that antibiotic use on livestock in the United States has climbed to nearly 23 percent from 2009 to 2014. Furthermore, data from the FDA shows a 3 percent increase from 2013, with up to 96 percent of sales for animal feed and water.

Antibiotic overuse also contributes to the development of superbugs, which are estimated to affect close to two million Americans a year and kill over 23,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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