Toddler’s tainted meat scare prompts mom to fight antibiotics in meat
By Consumers Union on Thursday, August 16th, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2012
TODDLER’S TAINTED MEAT SCARE PROMPTS MOM TO FIGHT ANTIBIOTICS IN TRADER JOE’S MEAT SUPPLY
Mom’s petition on Change.org calls on Trader Joe’s to stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’ by banning meat from animals fed antibiotics.
TROUTDALE, OR – 130,000 people have signed an Oregon mom’s petition on Change.org calling on specialty retail grocery store Trader Joe’s to only sell meat from animals raised without antibiotics.
Melissa Lee from Troutdale, Oregon, started the petition after her then 10-month-old daughter nearly died from eating ground turkey, purchased from another local grocery store chain, that was tainted with antibiotic-resistant Salmonella.
“I started my Change.org petition because no family should have to go through what mine did,” Lee said. “We know that animals constantly fed antibiotics can develop resistance to bacteria, which can create ‘superbugs’ that humans are then exposed to in the meat they eat.”
“Trader Joe’s has taken a stand against GMOs, artificial colors, preservatives, and trans fats in their food,” Lee added. “They should be a leader in eliminating meat from livestock treated with antibiotics. Until stores like Trader Joe’s stop this practice, families will continue to be exposed to health risks like the ones Ruby faced.”
Lee’s petition supports a national effort by the Meat Without Drugs campaign, a project of Consumers Union, which has gathered more than 100,000 additional signatures on its site.
“Ruby’s illness is an all-too-real example of what can happen when antibiotics are misused in meat production, and how humans can be exposed to resistant ‘superbugs’ that are harder to treat,” said Consumers Union Campaign Coordinator Meg Bohne. “Supermarkets can play a critical role in stopping this public health crisis by requiring their meat suppliers to end the routine use of antibiotics in raising livestock.”
Major competitor Whole Foods has already adopted a policy of antibiotic-free meat.
“The Meat Without Drugs campaign is asking Trader Joe’s to follow the lead of Whole Foods,” Bohne added. “Melissa’s petition really helps amplify that message.”
“Melissa’s family’s experience with tainted food has clearly resonated with parents and consumers across the country,” said Change.org Senior Campaigner Pulin Modi. “People want to know that when they unpack their groceries and cook dinner, they aren’t putting their children’s lives at risk.”