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FDA lowers estimates on use of antibiotics

The US Food and Drug Administration has significantly lowered its estimate of antibiotic use on farms after a report last month showed a 6.7% increase in 2010.

The FDA has since posted new numbers that show only a 1.3% increase, which is on par with the increase in meat and poultry production.

The revised report concludes that the overall amount of antibiotics used in food production was 13.2 million kilograms in 2010. That's up from 13.1 million kilograms in 2009. The FDA said its initial numbers were based on an "earlier draft" that was "posted erroneously."

"We were still adjusting classifications and numbers," FDA said, "including a late submission from a drug sponsor."

The initial report had caused a flurry of activity among public health advocates who want to curtail the use of antibiotics in food production out of concern that it puts people at risk by increasing the number of drug-resistant bacteria and making antibiotics less effective.

Editor WorldPoultry

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