The authors of the Johns Hopkins paper took average performance data from one company and applied what they believed to be average industry costs and are trying to apply it to every flock in the United States, which is not a valid analysis. Sometimes the average will apply and often it won’t. Health care for animals depends largely on local conditions, a fact that was noted in the original paper cited by the authors of the new paper.
The use of so-called “growth-promoting” antibiotics in poultry in this country has steadily declined for some years. Where antibiotics are used at all, they are used primarily to treat actual disease in the animals or to promote good animal health in the interest of producing safe and healthful food for humans, not for “growth promotion.”
All usage is in accordance with scientifically developed guidelines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. There has never been a proven case in which human health problems resulted from the use of antibiotics in chickens.
The bottom line is that antibiotics are used safely and responsibly in the U.S. broiler chicken industry.
The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens. Member companies of NCC account for approximately 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.