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K-State Study: Antibiotics Use in Pork Production Overestimated

April 11, 2012
By: Julianne Johnston, Pro Farmer Digital Managing Editor
 
 

A study conducted by Kansas State University shows that opponents of antibiotics use in livestock production overestimate the amount given to food animals.

 

The KSU study, which was published in the March issue of Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, found that 2.8 million lbs. of antibiotics were used for growth promotion/nutritional efficiency, disease prevention and disease treatment. That amount is 368% less than the amount asserted by UCS for just growth promotion/nutritional efficiency and disease prevention.

Using data from a 2006 USDA swine survey and a 2009 survey of swine veterinarians, KSU found that annually about 1.6 million lbs. of antibiotics are used in pork production for growth promotion/nutritional efficiency and disease prevention. A 2001 report, "Hogging It," from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) claimed that 10.3 million pounds a year are used.

"The UCS report should have been titled ‘Fabricating It,’" said NPPC President R.C. Hunt, a pork producer from Wilson, N.C. "Pork producers do not overuse antibiotics. We work with veterinarians to carefully consider if antibiotics are necessary and which ones to use."

"Pork producers use antibiotics carefully and judiciously to protect public health and the health of their animals and to produce safe food," Hunt said. "To denigrate America’s hog farmers by deliberately peddling misinformation about how they care for their animals is despicable."


Juli says: Here's concrete proof that groups that are against livestock production have their facts wrong when "educating" the public.

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