January 25, 2010

Antibiotics in Farming: Has Tyson Foods Shot Itself in the Foot?

Center for a Livable Future

Center for a Livable Future

-From the Animal Welfare Approved web site

Tyson Foods’ recent agreement to settle a lawsuit for falsely advertising its “raised without antibiotics” chicken brand has received limited media coverage – no doubt to the relief of the company’s boardroom. And with an annual turnover of nearly $27 billion, they probably won’t sweat too much over the $5 million that the company must now shell out as compensation to unhappy customers.

In falsely marketing its chicken meat as produced from birds “raised without antibiotics” while still feeding them antibiotics, Tyson Foods was shamelessly exploiting the growing public concern over the excessive use of antibiotics in industrial farming, particularly in the form of non-therapeutic growth promoters.

But while the intensive meat industry continues to vigorously oppose any attempts to reduce antibiotic use in farming, the irony is that Tyson Foods may well have inadvertently shot itself in the foot by publicly admitting that the overuse of certain antibiotics in industrial farming really is a threat to human health.

Originally published on the Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) web site. AWA was founded in 2006 as a market-based solution to growing consumer interest in how farm animals are raised and desire to know where their food is coming from and how it is produced.

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