FDA reports antimicrobial sales remain steady in 2018, 2019

January 7, 2021

The FDA’s 2019 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals shows sales and distribution of antimicrobials are down 25% since 2010.

This year’s report does an excellent job highlighting many issues that must be considered when examining the data. One example is the following statement:

“Before making a direct comparison between the quantity of antimicrobial drugs sold for use in humans and sold for use in animals, you should consider: There are differences in physiology and weight between humans and animals: the average adult human weighs 184 lbs., while the average live weight for beef cattle is about 1,347 lbs.”

The report shows poultry continues to be a minor contributor to antibiotic use. Broilers and laying hens are not separated in the report, only “chickens” are reported. For medically important antimicrobials, the report shows the intended sold and distributed use as 41% for cattle, 42% for swine, 10% for turkeys and 3% of all chickens.