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Documents reveal how poultry firms systematically feed antibiotics to flocksBy Brian Grow, P.J. Huffstutter and Michael Erman Filed Sept. 15, 2014, 1 p.m. GMTPervasive use fuels concerns about impact on human health, emergence of resistant superbugs Major U.S. poultry firms are administering antibiotics to their flocks far more pervasively than regulators realize, posing a potential risk to human health. Internal records examined by Reuters reveal that some of the nation’s largest poultry producers routinely feed chickens an array of antibiotics – not just when sickness strikes, but as a standard practice over most of the birds’ lives. In every instance of antibiotic use identified by Reuters, the doses were at the low levels that scientists say are especially conducive to the growth of so-called superbugs, bacteria that gain resistance to conventional medicines used to treat people. Some of the antibiotics belong to categories considered medically important to humans.