News 771 views last update:6 Aug 2012

US-Congress member inquires on antibiotic use

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) has sent a letter to more than 60 of the leading fast food companies, meat producers, and grocery stores in the US asking them to release details on their antibiotic use policies.

Slaughter specially asked the companies to breakdown what percentage of the food they sell is raised "without any antibiotics," raised with antibiotics only for therapeutic reasons," or raised with "routine use of antibiotics" - information that consumers often have no way of knowing.
The list of companies that received the letter was varied, including: Burger King, Cargill, YUM! Brands, Costco, Bon Appetit Management Company, Kraft, McDonald's and Whole Foods.
“The US is facing a growing public health crisis in the form of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and information about how these companies are contributing to its rise or resolution should be available to consumers,” Slaughter said.
The only microbiologist serving in Congress, Slaughter challenged companies to tout examples of lessening antibiotic use.

"There are some who would have us believe that we must pump our food up with antibiotics to keep prices low and affordable," she said. "But the food industry has proven success stories and leaders who understand the benefits that come from raising and serving antibiotic-free meat. It is not incompatible for us to have healthy and affordable food."

The letter asks companies to respond in detail to Congresswoman Slaughter's office by June 15.

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