CHICAGO, Nov. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT), a Chicago-based consumer advocacy organization, released a new report, Stuffed: The Use Of Antibiotics and Other Drugs in the U.S. Turkey Industry on the use of antibiotics and veterinary drugs by the top 20 U.S. turkey producers.
Here are some key findings:
- Among the top twenty companies, only Hain Pure Protein, marketed under the Plainville Farms Brand, and Tyson Foods, marketed under the Hillshire Brand, stated that they do not allow their producers to routinely use antibiotics related to those used in humane medicine either for disease prevention or growth promotion.
- Another four companies prohibit the use of these antibiotics for growth promotion. Eight companies raise some turkeys to be marketed under a raised without antibiotics or organic label.
- Nine companies including the three largest - Butterball, Jennie-O, and Cargill - stated they do not use the artificial growth promoter ractopamine, a non-antibiotic growth promoter that has been approved for use in turkeys along with cattle and swine. Its use has been associated with animal health problems including increased mortality in turkeys raised under heat stress.
"Turkey meat has consistently had the highest level of superbugs compared to other meats, and so it's important for consumers to know about the use of antibiotics in turkey production. This report shows that most turkey companies have not committed to ending routine antibiotic use on their farms," said Steven Roach, FACT's Food Safety Program Director.
For turkey producers, the report recommends they limit the use of antibiotics to the treatment of sick animals and not use ractopamine. For consumers, the report recommends they avoid companies that do not prohibit the use of ractopamine or routine antibiotic use and seek out companies that are transparent about the drugs they use in food production. The report also recommends that consumers look for products that are produced under a third party certification that includes controls on veterinary drug use.
Food Animal Concerns Trust promotes humane farming and advocates for the safe production of meat, milk and eggs. FACT also helps consumers make humane and healthy choices. Learn more at www.foodanimalconcerns.org.
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SOURCE Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT)