How much power does the FDA have in deciding whether or not it is acceptable for antibiotics to be contained in animal feed? Apparently quite a lot… This next article reports that a federal court judge has “ordered” (as Reuters puts) the FDA to “rethink” their position on feeding animals food containing antibiotics. According to the FDA, 80% of all antibiotics are sold to the agricultural industry, but the amounts per farm and per serving is “unknown.”
Rethinking….. Hum…? Seems a polite way of asking me to change my position, when in fact I probably will not. ” I’ll think it over and let you know in the morning or, “I’ll have to talk it over with my wife.”
But even though antibiotic critics are calling this a victory, the order still only turns out to be “a suggestion” or to make us feel better “an order to suggest” (whatever that actually means and/or is supposed to accomplish).
To me, rethinking only means it’s gonna take a lot more time to have some real regulation slapped down on the meat industry- we should only expect this to be a long drawn out war for both sides… Here’s why…
These “suggestions” to reduce and/or eliminate antibiotics in animal feed have been “suggested” in the past. In fact,
“For over thirty years, the Agency (FDA) has been confronted with evidence of the human health risks associated with the widespread subtherapeutic use of antibiotics in food-producing animals, and, despite a statutory mandate to ensure the safety of animal drugs, the Agency has done shockingly little to address these risks,” Judge Katz wrote.
This whole article can be found here at http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/05/us-fda-antibiotics-idUSBRE85417N20120605
Truth in Packaging?
I was at the food store a couple of days ago and curiously looked at the packaging of one of the major chicken brands and noticed it labeled as “Natural and No Antibiotics Used or Added.”
Natural: USDA has defined the term “natural” for meat and poultry as “a product containing no artificial ingredients or added color and is only minimally processed.” Because shell eggs are not processed (except for cleaning and grading) and do not contain artificial ingredients, they would all be considered “natural.” Therefore, when applied to eggs, the term “natural” is meaningless and has no relevance to animal welfare. In general, this label is not meaningful for meat, poultry, or eggs.
No Antibiotics or No Hormones – Products labeled as “No Antibiotics Used or Added” can be a good choice. However, just because a food is antibiotic free, it doesn’t guarantee that the animals were raised humanely, were fed healthy food, were able to exercise and express natural behaviors, or spent time outside.
Packages of chicken sold in supermarkets commonly sport a claim that reads “no added hormones.” While customers might take this to mean that the birds were raised humanely, in reality hormones are not permitted in chicken production by law. Using hormones with chickens is illegal and no chicken product sold in the U.S. contains them. Therefore, a “no added hormones” claim on chicken is unnecessary and misleading. read more
Here’s something else to consider… if they are able to do this to meat, what are they doing to vegetables? Can you say GMO?