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The FDA released final guidance today that calls for meat and poultry producers to phase out the use of all antibiotics in livestock that results in larger animals over the next 3 years. A second mandatory order will say that any antibiotics used for treatment, control or prevention in livestock must be administered by a veterinarian. Experts say the overuse of antibiotics leads diseases to become resistant to treatment. The CDC reported in September that 23,000 people each year are killed by infections resistant to antibiotics. Nearly 30 million lbs of antibiotics were sold for meat and poultry production in 2011, compared to just 7.7 million lbs sold to treat sick people. With so much to lose, it's unclear if the meat and poultry industry will fight the new rule.
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