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Antibiotics Still Used Excessively on US Farms Despite Superbug Crisis

Tests on thousands of meat samples show that farm animals are still being dosed with powerful antibiotics classified as "critically important" to human health.

Antibiotics crucial to human medicine are still being used in “unacceptable” quantities on US livestock farms, despite rules brought in last year intended to curb their use and combat the spread of deadly superbugs.

Tests on thousands of meat samples carried out by the US Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) show that farm animals are still being dosed with powerful antibiotics classified as “critically important” to human health. The widespread use of such drugs on livestock is one of the key drivers of antibiotic resistance, a growing public health crisis.

Regulations were brought in by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2017 which banned the use of antibiotics on livestock without a prescription from a vet and made it illegal to use the drugs solely to make animals fatter, which for years had been a common practice on industrial farms.

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