Dec 22, 2017

Three UK supermarkets publish data on antibiotics use

Three UK supermarket chains have published figures on the amount of antibiotics used by their farm suppliers, in an effort to cut use of the medicines. Campaigners have called on all supermarkets to follow their lead. Overuse of antibiotics can cause drugs resistance leading to the prevalence of superbugs such as MRSA. England's Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies warned in October that if antibiotics lost their effectiveness it would "Spell the end to modern medicine". The campaign group, the Alliance To Save Our Antibiotics, which was founded by charities Sustain, Compassion in World Farming and the Soil Association welcomed the move by the supermarkets, saying it was a good start. The UK Veterinary Antibiotics Resistance and Sales Surveillance Report 2016, released in October, showed sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals dropped by 27%, achieving a government-set target two years early. The British Retail Consortium, which represents the big supermarkets, said all its members advocated the responsible use of antibiotics and were working to reduce usage without any detrimental effect on animal welfare.

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