In December 2015, the Center for Veterinary Medicine Protecting Human and Animal Health within the Food and Drug Administration, released a rather unremarkable sounding report entitled, ‘2014 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed in Food-Producing Animals’ (a link to the full report in below in reading list). It is a large report outlining antimicrobial use in food-producing animals.

Key highlights of the report:

  1. Domestic sales and distribution of antimicrobials approved for use in food-producing animals increased by 22% from 2009 through 2014 (p.6)
  2. The use of ionophores (classed as a ‘non-medically important antimicrobial’ and used as a feed additive to increase weight gain in cattle) has increased by 26% (p.19)
  3. It’s widespread and legal to use antibiotics to increase weight gain in food-producing animals but ‘because of confidentiality constraints, FDA cannot provide sales and distribution data for products labeled solely for production indications.’ (p.19)
  4. Tetracyclines and ionophores account for the largest sales in volume by kg (p.41 see table below)Figure 95. Below is a nice table showing antimicrobial use in both food-producing animals (e.g. cattle and swine) and ‘non-food producing animals’ which is a funny way to define our pets like cats and dogs:Table 10 p42If you want to learn more the FDA’s reference section is a complete list of their writings on the topic:

References p58

Read more:

  1. 2014 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed in Food-Producing Animals 2014_Annual_Summary-12-2015
  2. Are Antibiotics Making People Larger? Overuse of the drugs seems to make us gain weight—even when we don’t take them. The Atlantic Dec 2015
  3. The prevalence of homeopathy in Europe. May 2015 C Zettl
  4. Homeopathy as a replacement to antibiotics in…piglets! July 2014 C Zettl