Source: University of Minnesota

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released data indicating a 4% increase in the sales of medically important antibiotics for use in food-producing animals in 2022. The report from the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine revealed that 6.2 million kilograms of such antibiotics were sold, up from 5.9 million kg in 2021. These antibiotics, which are also used in human medicine, constituted 56% of all antibiotics sold for use in food-producing animals.

Despite a 36% decline in sales from 2015 to 2022, the data show a steady increase since 2017, raising concerns about the effectiveness of FDA efforts to promote judicious antibiotic use on farms. Swine accounted for the highest percentage of sales (43%), followed by cattle (41%), turkey (12%), chicken (2%), and other food animals (2%). Critics point out that the U.S. trajectory contrasts with other countries that have successfully reduced Veterinary antibiotic use, emphasizing the need for more aggressive stewardship measures.

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