Applegate CEO Doubts Impact of FDA Guidance Recommendations to Address Antibiotics in Food Animal Production

Non-binding suggestions rely on industry to self-regulate

Apr 11, 2012, 18:00 ET from Applegate

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Stephen McDonnell, founder and CEO of Applegate, the leading producer of natural and organic meats and cheeses, today welcomed a step by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to curb the overuse of antibiotics in food animal production, but expressed concern about industry compliance.

"The FDA has made a move in the right direction, but there's a long way to go," said McDonnell. "We know consumers want antibiotic misuse in animal agriculture to stop, and the recommendations issued today encourage the industry to do that, but fall well short of requiring it."

The new non-binding FDA guidance recommendations state that antibiotics should be used only when necessary to keep animals healthy and only under the supervision of a veterinarian. Additionally, the agency is requesting cooperation from drug manufacturers to remove non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics from drug labels. Cooperation with the new recommendations is strictly voluntary.

Today's release of Guidance 209 and 213 follow last month's ruling by a U.S. district court judge requiring the FDA to take action on its own determination in 1977 that the use of penicillin and tetracyclines in food animal production posed a risk to human health. 

Applegate is committed to educating the public about the dangers of antibiotic overuse in animal agriculture and its effects on the environment and human health. Applegate, in partnership with STOP Foodborne Illness, launched Citizens Against Superbugs in December 2011. A survey sponsored by Citizens Against Superbugs found that 75 percent of Americans want government to do something to restrict the use of antibiotics in animal farms, and 71 percent believe that antibiotic overuse and misuse is causing antibiotic resistance and a human health crisis.

McDonnell is asking the public to become part of the conversation and provide comments on the guidance recommendations to the FDA during the 90-day comment period through and Twitter with #StopSuperbugs.

"The FDA's recommendations use the word 'should,' but we all know that stopping the negligent use of antibiotics in animal agriculture is a 'must,' in order to save these important drugs to battle infections," added McDonnell.

About the Survey
The survey was administered online by Toluna, one the world's leading online panel and survey technology providers, with a total sample of 2,211 men and women aged 18 years or older. From this overall sample, 573 parents with children under 18 living at home, who are registered voters, and are primary grocery shoppers were identified and screened. Research was conducted in November 2011. The survey was sponsored by Applegate.

About Applegate
For more than 25 years, Applegate has been producing high-quality natural and organic hot dogs, bacon, sausages, deli meats, cheese and frozen products.  Natural can mean many things, but when Applegate says their products are natural, consumers are guaranteed that the meat inside is:

  • Raised without antibiotics or hormones
  • From animals fed a vegetarian or 100% grass diet and treated with humane animal standards
  • Free of added chemical nitrites, nitrates or phosphates
  • Free of artificial ingredients or preservatives

For more information about our products, visit

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SOURCE Applegate