Friday, February 17, 2012

N.Y. Lawmaker Demands Food Companies' Proprietary Information

Unable to get congressional traction for restricting antibiotic use on farms, Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., has fired a broadside at more than 60 fast food restaurant and grocery chains, food processors and food producers.

In letters dated Feb. 16, Slaughter demanded to know each firm’s policy on antibiotic use in meat production plus the percentages of beef, pork and poultry offered that is raised with and without antibiotics. And for those who admit to offering meat from animals treated with antibiotics, Slaughter wants to know the details of that antibiotics use—specifically, was it for “therapeutic reasons” or “routine” use?

Slaughter, the sponsor of a bill restricting antibiotic use in livestock, gives the companies until June 15 to respond.

The New York Democrat makes her requests despite strong evidence that the risk of human antibiotic resistance problems developing from using antibiotics in livestock is negligible. A more likely cause of resistance is over-prescription of drugs for humans.
HOTH wonders if Slaughter is sending similar letters to antibacterial soap manufacturers or physicians. It also imagines that the food companies' responses to the congresswoman may be a polite go jump in a lake! 

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