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Study: Growth promoting drugs and hog prices

by 5m Editor
16 May 2001, at 12:00am

It was reported Hog farmers lose money by feeding growth-promoting antibiotics to pigs, because the extra production holds down pork prices. However, the Associated Press have confirmed their conclusions were incorrect as they did not take into account the hogs taken to market were heavier.

This article has been removed due to the information use to collate the report being based on an error (see below). We apologise for the confusion.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Associated Press on May 15 erroneously quoted an Agriculture Department study as saying that hog farmers lose money by feeding growth-promoting antibiotics to pigs.

The study said that in 1999 additional production resulting from the drugs resulted in cutting the average price of hogs for the industry as a whole from $34.80 to $34.02 per hundred pounds. However, individual farmers who used the antibiotics were able to make more money because the hogs they took to market were heavier.

The AP erroneously reported the study as saying that producers who used the antibiotics collectively lost $45.5 million. Instead, the $45.5 million is how much those producers would have lost had they not been allowed to use the drugs, according to the study.