India may ban its poultry and meat industry from using a growth-promoting drug linked to antibiotic-resistance

  • The Indian government is reportedly looking at banning the antibiotic Colistin, which is used as a growth-promoting agent for animals, LiveMint reported.
  • The drug in question is linked to antibiotic resistance in humans.
  • An investigation by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism has also found that a key supplier of chicken to fast food eateries in India uses the drug.
The Indian government may ban the use of the antibiotic colistin, a drug used as a growth-promoting agent in animals that has been linked to antibiotic resistance, Mint reported. The drug is already banned in many countries including China and Malaysia.

The overuse of antibiotics can lead to bacteria developing resistance against the effect of the drugs, a growing public health concern for India. Antibiotic-resistant infections reportedly kill over 58,000 children in India every year.

Earlier in 2017, the Indian government had restricted the use of antibiotics used to induce growth in animals given its adverse impact on human health.

A key supplier of chicken to India’s fast food eateries has also been found using Colistin, according to a report by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism. That report also found that Zoetis, the world’s largest animal drugs maker, has been selling antibiotics to Indian farmers because of loose regulation in the country. Zoetis has maintained its drugs are safe for use under the correct supervision.

However, the parent of KFC and Pizza Hut, Yum Brands Inc., has reportedly said that they follow the regulations put by the government for the use of antibiotics. It also mentioned that its food items are free from such growth promoters.