About 70% of antibiotics sold in the U.S. go to farm animals, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. “These farms are loaded with resistant bacteria, which then spread into the community”, says Dr. Stuart Levy of Tufts University.
You can get resistant bacteria from the meat or the produce you eat, sine manure from these animals is applied to crops. Runoff from farms can spread the bacteria into the environment, which means plants and animals can carry them and pass them on to humans.
In late 2013 the FDA took action to phase out routine use of antibiotics to promote growth in animals. Regulators called on the industry to voluntarily use antibiotics only for therapeutic purposes under the supervision of a veterinarian.
A number of restaurant chains have agreed to stop serving meat from animals raised with antibiotics. In Denmark, a ban on antibiotic use has led to fewer resistant bugs in animals. Dr. Levy says “Europeans have shown we can raise animals without antibiotic food supplements”.