June 5, 2020

Rep. Louise Slaughter Reveals Results of Meat Antibiotic Survey

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) released findings from her survey of 60 fast food chains, meat processors, grocery store chains, and meat producers asking them about their policies on antibiotic use in meat and poultry production. The survey found that some companies are providing exclusively antibiotic-free meat and poultry products, including Whole Foods, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Niman Ranch, and Sweetgreen. The companies also offer a high degree of transparency regarding the food production practices they support. Most companies, in fact, the “overwhelming majority” according to the report, regularly use antibiotics in food animals as preventative measures (sub-therapeutic doses), and to promote growth. Those are the two uses of antibiotics in farm animals most criticized by scientists and researchers as promoting the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

AntibioticsRep. Slaughter said that only 31 companies responded directly to her query. She divided the companies she queried into several categories: full disclosure, some questions answered, and minimal disclosure. She also rated them by these categories: antibiotic-free only, moderate antibiotic use, and routine antibiotic use. You can see the survey results at her web site.

According to the survey, the following companies follow an antibiotic-free policy, have transparent policies, and offer antibiotic-free options to their customers: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Sweetgreen, Whole Foods, Applegate Farms, Bell & Evans, Coleman Natural Foods, Murray’s Chicken, Niman Ranch and Ozark Mountain Pork. The following companies had low transparency, no antibiotic-free policies, and offered no options to consumers: Domino’s, Roy Rogers, Sonic, White Castle, A&W Restaurants, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Target, Cargill, Hormel, Kraft Foods and Tyson.

In a statement, Slaughter said, “my findings finally provide consumers with valuable information about the food they eat, and answer the question, ‘what’s in the beef?’ I urge consumers to consider today’s findings when shopping, and I urge the FDA and my colleagues in Congress to strengthen our laws in order to fight the growing threat of superbugs. Until we do, the routine use of antibiotics will continue to breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria that threaten human health.”

You can download a file with copies of the responses from corporations at Rep. Slaughter’s site.

 

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