FDA banned antibiotics found in poultry feather meal

Researchers at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Arizona State University have found traces of antibiotics banned by the US government used in poultry feather meal.

Feather meal, a common animal feed additive, was found to contain fluoroquinolones, a broad spectrum antibiotic banned from use in poultry production in 2005. The FDA instituted the ban due to increasing resistance of Campylobacter bacteria to fluoroquinolones. 

The feather meal was tested for a set of 59 pharmaceuticals. All of the 12 samples of feather meal, acquired from six US states and China, had between two and 10 antibiotic residues. In addition, the samples also tested positive for seven active ingredients found in personal care products such as Tylenol, Benadryl, and Prozac.

In an extension of the study, researchers exposed E. coli bacteria to the concentrations of antibiotics found in the feather meal, and noted that some samples had concentrations high enough to discourage already resistant bacteria.

The report was published March 21 in Environmental Science & Technology.

Editor WorldPoultry

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