WHO: Stop Routinely Using Antibiotics In Animals Raised For Food
by Lauren F. Friedman, Consumer Reports
Posted: 2017-11-08 15:37:57 EST

The World Health Organization (WHO) is now recommending against the routine use of antibiotics in food animals, according to new guidelinesreleased by the international public-health agency.  

Many farms give these drugs to chickens, cows, pigs, and other farm animals to treat illness as well as to promote growth and prevent disease—two uses the new guidelines explicitly advise against. A majority of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used for this purpose.

When farm animals are fed antibiotics on a routine basis, weaker bacteria are killed off while bacteria that's resistant to these drugs survive and multiply. This practice has been a key factor in the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections in humans, which kill more than 23,000 people in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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