India to become fourth largest consumer of antibiotic-laced chicken by 2030: Study

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: All you chicken lovers, this news is for you! When you gorge on the sumptuous butter chicken or chicken tandoori, did you know that you are consuming a whole lot of antibiotics along with it?

According to a new study, American researchers predict that by 2030 Indians will be consuming 4,743 tonnes of chicken reared on strong doses of antibiotics.

This study, published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences states that the consumption stood at 2,066 tonnes in 2010. The expected numbers mean India will become the fourth largest consumer of antibiotic-laced chicken by 2030 and China will be number one.

Regularly consuming chicken could put you in danger of developing antibiotic resistance i.e eating chicken with drug traces over a period of time could make you immune to important antibiotics prescribed to treat common illnesses.

The poultry industry generally uses antibiotics as a growth promoter wherein chicken are fed antibiotics so that they gain weight and grow faster. When the meat is consumed, traces of the medicine enter the human body and gradually result in people developing resistance to antibiotics.

Last year, Centre for Science and Environment in a study found several antibiotic residues (like ciprofloxacin, doxycycline ) in chickens tested in Delhi-NCR region, and said "large-scale and indiscriminate" use of antibiotics in poultry industry might be "strongly linked" to growing antibiotic resistance in Indians.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over 58,000 children died in India in 2013 due to antibiotic resistance, and it will be the cause of death of 20 lakh Indians by 2050.

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