Antibiotics in Meat

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter sent a "What's in the Beef" survey to more than 60 companies to discover the extent of antibiotics in meat and poultry production, here are the results.

| July 3, 2012

  • grocery meat
    Only one (Whole Foods) of the 11 grocery stores that responded to Congresswoman Slaughter's survey sell only antibiotic-free meat and poultry products.

  • grocery meat

The following article is posted with permission from the office of Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter.

On February 16, 2012, Rep. Slaughter sent a letter to more than 60 fast food companies, meat producers, meat processors and grocery store chains asking them to disclose their policies on antibiotic use in meat and poultry production. Almost half of the companies replied to Rep. Slaughter’s request, giving public health experts, legislators and members of the American public insight into the use of antibiotics in food animals. The findings from Rep. Slaughter’s survey are clear: there is an urgent need to change the practices of American food producers to ensure that antibiotics are used responsibly in the production of food animals.

What follows are top-line survey findings, links to original content and additional resources. To view the original letter from Rep. Slaughter to food companies, click here.

Key Findings

1. A small number of companies are leading the effort to provide exclusively antibiotic-free meat and poultry products.

Companies such as Whole Foods, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Niman Ranch, Bell & Evans, Coleman Natural Foods, Ozark Mountain Pork, Applegate Farms and Sweetgreen are leading examples of businesses that have succeeded without relying upon the routine use of antibiotics to produce the meat and poultry that they sell. According to survey findings, these companies provide a high degree of transparency regarding the food production practices that they or their suppliers employ and do not use antibiotics on healthy animals.

2. An overwhelming majority of companies regularly use antibiotics in food-animals as a preventive health measure and to promote faster animal growth.

t brandt
7/19/2012 9:19:26 PM

-just came across this: In iceland, where they don't use antibioitcs in rasing chickens, it was found that E.coli isolated from humans & chickens, had similar antibiotic resistant patterns and the chickens apparently got their resistant strains from the grain they ate.

t brandt
7/12/2012 9:47:54 PM

Now here's the facts: [1] antibiotics administered to meat animals must go thru a "washout-period" before slaughter, so none of the chemical actually makes it into the food on your table [2] use of antibiotics increases growth/feed efficiency, so fewer animals are needed to fill our food demand. That means less natural resources are used to produce our food, ie- it's better for the environment [3] Only ONE case of of a "superbug" has actually been documented in a beef cow. DNA analysis showed the cow picked it up FROM a human! So where's the problem that needs fixing?

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