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Winter 1999 Vol.23 No.1
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National Research Council Reports
on Antibiotic Use in Food Animals

Approximately 19 million pounds of antibiotics is used annually in agriculture, reaching 60 percent to 80 percent of all cattle, sheep, swine, and poultry in the United States at some point, according to a report issued by the National Research Council.

"Agricultural producers, health care providers, veterinarians, and consumers must use antibiotics properly and be aware of potential risks," said James Coffman, Kansas State University, who chaired the committee that prepared The Use of Drugs in Food Animals: Benefits and Risks. He also said that using antibiotics to control and treat diseases in animals improves the safety of our food supply.

The report recommends creation of an oversight panel to ensure the appropriate use of antibiotics in animals and humans, and establishment of a national database to monitor microbe-related illnesses and trends in antibiotic resistance. Copies are available for $45 (prepaid) plus shipping from the National Academy Press, 800/624-6242,

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