Antibiotics sales for use in U.S. farm animals dropped in 2016
It was the first decline in year-to-year sales since the FDA began collecting the data in 2009, according to food and consumer health groups.
An estimated 70 percent of the kinds of antibiotics that are also used to fight human infections and in surgery are sold in the United States for use in meat production.
In 2016, sales and distribution of those medically important antibiotics for food production fell 14 percent, the FDA said.
Medically important antimicrobials accounted for 60 percent of the domestic sales of all antimicrobials approved for use in farm animals in 2016, the agency said.
The FDA’s data show chicken accounting for 6 percent of medically important antibiotic sales, with swine at 37 percent and cattle at 43 percent. ■