"The No. 1 misunderstanding about antibiotics in animal agriculture is that it is not understood well enough that antibiotics are used to keep animals healthy, period," Randall Singer, a professor of veterinary science at the University of Minnesota, told The New York Times, noting that the 480 samples of each type of meat may not represent all the meat sold in the country.
"We should not assume that when we find resistance to antibiotics in humans, it means it was caused by the use of antibiotics in animals," he said.
Meanwhile, the F.D.A. has said that farm animals should only receive antibiotics "for assuring animal health." It also issued a statement after the EWG report was published, criticizing it for being "alarmist."
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"We don't have a problem with treating animals with antibiotics when they are sick," Dawn Undurraga, a nutritionist who works for EWG, told The Times. "But just feeding them antibiotics to make them get bigger faster at a lower cost poses a real problem for public health."