Antibiotics a waste of money: new study
A new study by Johns Hopkins University researchers
says that the poultry industry is losing money overall as a result of using
The study in this month's edition of the journal Public Health
is the first cost/benefit analysis of feeding poultry antibiotics to
The Johns Hopkins
researchers found that the growth-promoting antibiotics (GPAs) helped promote
growth but cost about a penny per chicken more than the market value the birds
gained from antibiotics. The researchers conducted their investigation using
data from a study of 7 million chickens published previously by Perdue
"The net effect of using GPAs was a lost value of $0.0093 per chicken," the
"Based upon these data, the authors found no basis for the claim that the
use of GPAs lowers the cost of production," it said.
The National Chicken Council
said the study was flawed because it
applied average figures for costs that in fact vary across the country.
coalition (KAW), which opposes the use of the drugs in
animal feed and publicised the study, said the results show there is no business
case for using them.
KAW said Perdue and three other large poultry producers - Tyson
, Gold Kist
and Foster Farms
- say they
no longer use antibiotics to promote growth.
Many types of growth-promoting antibiotics are banned in several areas of
the world, including the EU and Australia, primarily because of concerns that
the practice can lead to antibiotic-resistant infections in humans.
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