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Meat Producers In The U.S. Battle Efforts To Limit Or Eliminate Use Of Antibiotics

September 14, 2010: 04:41 AM EST

The routine practice of feeding antibiotics to young pigs after weaning to prevent illness and speed growth with less feed could possibly be outlawed soon. But pig farmers cite leading veterinary scientists in arguing that the risks to humans are remote and less important than raising healthy animals and producing cheaper food. The National Pork Producers Council says “there is no conclusive scientific evidence” that animal antibiotics affect the usefulness of antibiotics in people. However, medical experts say antibiotics in animals are contributing to the appearance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including dangerous E. coli strains and other microbes. The FDA is about to issue tougher guidelines on animal antibiotics, and legislation that would bar most uses in healthy animals is gaining support in Congress.

Erik Eckholm, "U.S. Meat Farmers Brace for Limits on Antibiotics", New York Times, September 14, 2010, © The New York Times Co.
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