Meat Labeling With Regard to Antibiotics

Over the years, more and more information about antibiotics has been discovered and dispatched to the general consumer population. This has led to the consumer population reducing the use of antibiotics directly. However, there is also the possibility of antibiotics being used by an indirect route. There has been sensitization that some food animals are being raised with antibiotics. The U.S. Food Safety Department has taken it upon themselves to ensure that antibiotic free meat is available to people. Following the realization of the effect of antibiotics, it has become crucial to ensure that meat that is antibiotic free is sold to the growing consumer population.

Meat products that have claims of being antibiotic free do not necessarily mean that the animals were not raised with antibiotics. There is a possibility that the animals were weaned off the antibiotics before slaughter, which is according to the law. The label claims have become almost hazardous because they are misleading and most are untrue. The Consumer Union (CU) recently found over twenty untrue and unproved label “claims” that are antibiotic related. Claims like “never given antibiotics,” “grown without the use of antibiotics,” “natural,” “antibiotic free” and others are some of the labels that might be found on the meat packages.

Following these discoveries, the CU sent a letter to the food safety and agricultural groups, and sensitization of these misleading labels began. The Food Safety Department and other groups began to look into these claims to make it safer for people to consume the processed and packed meat products. The CU has only sought to make the labeling clearer and not as vague as they are as of now.

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