Here’s Why The FDA’s Antibiotics-In-Agriculture Policy Is A Charade

(Great Beyond)

Imagine you’re one of only a handful of businesses in the U.S. making a very profitable and lucrative product. Then come new rules that should have the effect of slashing your business drastically and probably weeding out what little competition there is in the market. You’d fight back, especially if you’re part of an industry that is known for tossing money around to get what you want. So why is the drug industry not up in arms about the FDA policy aimed at curbing the use of antibiotics in farm animals? Because it’s not doing anything. [More]

(Michael)

Doctors Call For End To Fattening Farm Animals With Antibiotics

While the beef, pork and drug industry likes to claim there isn’t enough science to merit a ban on the medically unnecessary use of antibiotics in farm animal feed, the nation’s largest group of physicians doesn’t quite see it that way. [More]

If Texas Farmers Want Chipotle To Buy Their Beef, They Should Stop Feeding Antibiotics To Cattle

(Adam Fagen)

Yesterday, the Commissioner of the Texas Dept. of Agriculture wrote to the founder and CEO of burrito chain Chipotle, saying he was “shocked” by Chipotle’s “foolish” decision to buy beef from cattle raised in Australia when there are so many cattle farmers in the Lone Star State, accusing the company of abandoning American farmers — but glossing over the fact that the domestic supply is limited if Chipotle wants to stick to its guns about using antibiotic-free beef. [More]

FDA Doesn’t Seem To Care That Novartis Still Sells Antibiotic As Pig-Fattener

FDA Doesn’t Seem To Care That Novartis Still Sells Antibiotic As Pig-Fattener

Last week, we told you how pharma biggie Novartis was still openly marketing at least one of its antibiotics as a growth-promoter for livestock, even though the FDA had politely asked drug companies to pretty please stop selling antibiotics for non-medical uses. Given the voluntary nature of this guidance, not to mention its numerous loopholes, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that both the FDA and Novartis shrugged off critics’ concerns. [More]

Most Doctors Still Prescribing Antibiotics When They’re Not Supposed To

Most Doctors Still Prescribing Antibiotics When They’re Not Supposed To

Acute bronchitis is generally a result of any number of viruses, meaning that antibiotics won’t work. This is not news to the medical or scientific community, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been trying for 15 years to get doctors to stop the knee-jerk practice of prescribing antibiotics for the disease. And yet, a new study finds that some 70% of physicians are still telling patients to take drugs that don’t work. [More]

(Chris Martino)

Rep. Slaughter Asks McDonald’s To Switch To Antibiotic-Free Beef

Some 80% of antibiotics sold in this country go to farmers to put in animal feed, and while the livestock and pharmaceutical industries now like to pretend it’s for disease prevention, the primary motive for shoving drugs down animals’ throats is because antibiotics have the happy side effect of encouraging growth. The practice is so widespread that it would take one of the country’s largest beef-buyers to result in any effective change, which is why New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has called on McDonald’s to ditch drugged-up meat for good. [More]

Novartis Continues To Market Antibiotic As A Way To Fatten Up Pigs

Novartis Continues To Market Antibiotic As A Way To Fatten Up Pigs

Last December, after decades of ignoring the issue of the non-medical use antibiotics in farm animals, the FDA finally released industry-friendly guidance on the topic, politely asking drug companies to stop selling their antibiotics to farmers for anything other than disease treatment and prevention. And yet the folks at Swiss drug giant Novartis continue to push one of their antibiotics as a way for pig farmers to make bigger pigs. [More]

Drug Companies Say They Won’t Sell Antibiotics For Non-Medical Use In Animals, But Are They Telling The Truth?

Drug Companies Say They Won’t Sell Antibiotics For Non-Medical Use In Animals, But Are They Telling The Truth?

The FDA had “Look at effect of medically unnecessary antibiotics in farm animals and maybe do something about it” on its to-do list for three decades, and then last December it finally issued a pretty-please to the pharmaceuticals industry, asking drug companies to voluntarily stop selling antibiotics for non-therapeutic use on farm animals. Almost all of them have since agreed in writing to follow the FDA’s guidance, but are those promises worth the paper they’re written on? [More]

One of the ads run by a local farmer in The Idaho Statesman. Click to see full-size.

Full-Page Ads Thank Trader Joe’s For Giving Consumers The Choice To Eat Drugged-Up Meat

Freedom of choice is a pretty awesome thing. But for quite some time, consumers have had very little choice when it comes to buying beef, chicken, or pork that wasn’t fed a massive amount of medically unnecessary antibiotics. That’s one of the reasons why our cohorts at Consumers Union have been pushing supermarket chain Trader Joe’s to stop selling meat from these animals — so consumers could have an affordable, convenient way to get meat that wasn’t pumped full of penicillin. But according to a series of full-page newspaper ads, consumers apparently want hamburgers that are contributing to the spread of drug-resistant infections. [More]

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Takes FDA Chief To Task On Weak Antibiotics Guidance

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Takes FDA Chief To Task On Weak Antibiotics Guidance

In December, the Food and Drug Administration showed just how little it actually cares about drugs in our food by — after more than 35 years of dragging its feet on the topic — politely asking drug companies to pretty please stop selling medically unnecessary antibiotics to farmers who put the drugs in animal feed solely to encourage muscle tissue growth. Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren had the chance to grill FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg on the topic, and she didn’t pull her punches. [More]

Chick Fil-A To (Eventually) Stop Using Antibiotic-Filled Chicken

Chick Fil-A To (Eventually) Stop Using Antibiotic-Filled Chicken

In a move that could (hopefully) have a positive ripple effect on the rest of the fast food industry, Chick fil-A announced today that it will phase out the use of chickens raised using medically unnecessary antibiotics over the next five years. [More]

Is Chipotle’s Anti-GMO Stance Resulting In Profits?

Is Chipotle’s Anti-GMO Stance Resulting In Profits?

Last year, gut-busting burrito chain Chipotle quietly became the first restaurant of its type to begin identifying which of its ingredients may contain genetically modified ingredients, while also publicly stating that its long-term goal is to eliminate GMO ingredients from its menu. This can be a costly move in a business with relatively thin margins, but it may be working in Chipotle’s favor. [More]

Report: FDA Lets Farmers Use Antibiotics That Pose “High Risk” To Humans

Report: FDA Lets Farmers Use Antibiotics That Pose “High Risk” To Humans

Before it recently issued a “pretty please” to drug companies, asking them to voluntarily stop making billions of dollars off of unnecessary antibiotics sales to farmers, the Food and Drug Administration spent decades appearing to avoiding the topic. But a new report claims that the FDA actually spent 10 years internally reviewing the safety of dozens of antibiotics used in animal feed, drugs that the FDA’s own scientists said pose a high risk to human beings. [More]

Your Guide To Proposed Laws & Regulation That Could Help Consumers In 2014

Your Guide To Proposed Laws & Regulation That Could Help Consumers In 2014

2013 is gone, a collection of memories never to be dealt with again.  Next week, the 113th Congress returns for its second session, ideally to enact legislation throughout 2014, some of which could help consumers if they were to become law. [More]

“Organic” Chicken Is Different Than “Antibiotic-Free” And “Natural” Means Nothing

“Organic” Chicken Is Different Than “Antibiotic-Free” And “Natural” Means Nothing

Once upon a time, not very long ago, you went to the grocery store — not a big box store, or a warehouse club or online — and bought “chicken.” Now the poultry section can be a confusing mish-mash of labels that may not mean what consumers think they mean, or may not mean anything at all. [More]

Big Meat & Big Pharma Pleased As Punch With FDA’s Pointless New Antibiotic Guidelines

Big Meat & Big Pharma Pleased As Punch With FDA’s Pointless New Antibiotic Guidelines

Yesterday, the FDA came out swinging (with a Wiffle ball bat) against the medically unnecessary use of antibiotics in animal feed (by politely asking the drug companies that make piles of cash off these drugs to please stop selling so many of them to farmers just to encourage tissue growth). To demonstrate just how weak this (in)action is, one need look no further than the enthusiastic response from the nation’s huge meat and drug companies. [More]

Your hand tastes nice, but it could use a twist of amoxicillin... (afagen)

FDA Politely Asks Drug Companies To Voluntarily Stop Providing Antibiotics For Animal Feed

In the face of numerous reports indicating that the practice of using medically unnecessary antibiotics to bulk up farm animals is leading to millions of people getting sick each year from drug-resistant pathogens, the Food & Drug Administration drew a line in the sand today and put an end to the practi– oh wait, I meant that the FDA has politely asked drug companies to voluntarily phase out sales of these drugs to farmers. [More]

Butterball Doesn’t Know Why Its Fresh Turkeys Aren’t Getting Big This Year

Butterball Doesn’t Know Why Its Fresh Turkeys Aren’t Getting Big This Year

When you’re a big-name turkey titan like Butterball and use phrases like “plump and juicy” on your packaging, it’s problematic when your birds don’t grow to the heft you expect in time for Thanksgiving. That’s why the folks at Butterball are looking into this year’s flock of skinnier than usual turkeys. [More]