According to the first-ever report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on this subject, factory farms used a whopping 29 million pounds of antibiotics in 2009 alone. Back in 2001, a report issued by the Union of Concerned Scientists estimated that the non-therapeutic livestock use of antibiotics accounted for 70 percent of the total antibiotic use in the United States, and when all agricultural uses were considered, they estimated the share could be as high as 84 percent! Their report revealed similar statistics, estimating that nearly 25 million pounds of antimicrobials are used in swine, poultry and cattle production for non-therapeutic purposes, whereas 3 million pounds were used in human medicine.
So why are we surprised when antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria develop??