31 companies tell Rep. Slaughter what’s in the beef
By Consumers Union on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
There’s more to your meat than meets the eye, Representative Louse Slaughter wants you to know. The House member from upstate New York sent a survey to 60 grocery stores, restaurant chains, and meat producers this February inquiring about their policies on the use of antibiotics in the production of their meat, and the results are in.
Thirty one companies responded to the Congresswoman’s query, and online research produced information on an additional twenty.
High marks go to a handful of companies that only offer (or produce) meat that was not treated with the routine use of antibiotics, as well as for their transparency on their practices: Whole Foods, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Niman Ranch, Bell & Evans, Murray’s Chicken, Coleman Natural Foods, Ozark Mountain Pork, Applegate Farms, and Sweetgreen.
Forty four companies, however, reported using “moderate” or “routine” doses of antibiotics in the production of their meat.
Said Representative Slaughter in a press release:
“As Americans fire up their grills for the Fourth of July, my findings finally provide consumers with valuable information about the food they eat, and answer the question, ‘what’s in the beef?’ Through my survey, the food industry has provided us valuable information, and with that knowledge we must act. I urge consumers to consider today’s findings when shopping.”
These findings come on the heels of Consumer Reports’ own survey of grocery retailers which – like the Congresswoman’s results that included surveys of eleven supermarket chains – found that most do offer consumers some ‘no-antibiotics’ meat and poultry selections. However, with the exception of Whole Foods, which only sells meat raised without antibiotics, most grocery stores do not have policies against the routine use of antibiotics in meat production and sell primarily meat from livestock that was treated with the drugs.
Representative Slaughter says her findings point to the need for Congress to pass PAMTA, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, a bill she authored which would end the routine use of antibiotics in healthy animals in order to preserve their effectiveness for human use.
For a full list of companies surveyed by Representative Slaughter and their ratings, click here.