“What’s In The Beef?” Survey Results
Researchers surveyed 53 major food companies and meat producers in the U.S. regarding their use of antibiotics in animals raised for consumption. The responses showed that many companies regularly used antibiotics in healthy animals, and most of these companies did not disclose their use of antibiotics. Given the low levels of transparency regarding antibiotic use in animals, a meat-free option is probably a safer choice.
In this study, Representative Louise Slaughter sent a letter-based survey to over 60 food companies and meat producers regarding their use of antibiotics in meat production. Thirty-one of these companies responded, and additional information about 22 companies was gained from their websites. Food companies were rated on their use of antibiotics and transparency.
The results showed that the large majority of food companies use meat from animals that have been routinely treated with antibiotics to increase growth rates and prevent disease. However, these companies often did not freely disclose their use of antibiotics. Many companies claimed that they were not in possession of information requested, or that they simply support current FDA requirements for antibiotic use. Rep Slaughter concluded that there is a significant need for improved legislation regarding the use of antibiotics in healthy animals.