Is The Tide Of Antibiotic Use On Farms Now Turning?

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Something unprecedented happened this week. The Food And Drug Administration released its annual accounting of antibiotics sold in America for use in poultry, pigs and cattle, and for the very first time, it reported that fewer of the drugs were sold. Sales of medically important antibiotics in 2016 declined by 14 percent, compared to 2015. The new report is the strongest evidence so far that the FDA's efforts to restrain antibiotic use on farms, along with public pressure, are having an effect. The FDA has been publishing these reports since 2009, and each report until this one had showed a steady increase in antibiotic sales for use in farm animals. "It's very encouraging," says Karin Hoelzer , a former FDA scientist who now works at the Pew...

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