Resource: Antibiotic-Free Meat - on-line guide
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Title: Antibiotic-Free Meat - on-line guide
Resource type: Guide
Topics: Agriculture, Business, Individual Choices
Keywords: consumer choice, hormones
Audience: All
Region: Minnesota Statewide, Outside Minnesota
Summary: A guide is available listing sources of meat raised without antibiotics.
Content: Research by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and by other public health authorities has linked routine low level antibiotic use in food animals to meat contaminated with bacteria resistant to these drugs. Widespread use of sub-therapeutic antibiotics in large animal confinement factories, and in human populations, has helped create "superbugs." Rising numbers of people are becoming infected with these resistant bacteria, and the consequent diseases are harder to treat because they respond poorly or not at all to these compromised medicines. The depth of concern was made clear in June 2003 when McDonald's Corporation, working with the non-profit organization Environmental Defense, announced plans that will require its meat suppliers worldwide to phase out routine use of animal antibiotics.

Those concerned about these interrelated issues of public health, food irradiation, factory farms and ethical treatment of animals may find the online Eat Well Guide of use. The Minneapolis-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy has released this guide to help consumers and institutional food buyers purchase meat raised without antibiotics. A growing body of evidence suggests that these meats are less likely to be tainted with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

This guide, at the web site below, includes:

* Information on why consumers should be concerned.

* Tips for reading labels and identifying meat raised without antibiotics, including meat that is organic, no irradiated, raised humanely and grass- or pasture-fed, and raised sustainably. (Much of this meat is from animals not raised on growth hormones, which have been banned by the European Union because of links to cancer and early-onset puberty in humans.)

* Where to buy meat in Minnesota and the US raised without antibiotics. The extensive purchasing section lists specific Minnesota supermarkets and chains, meat producers, and restaurants serving meats without antibiotics.

More information on the topic of antibiotic resistance, including studies and proposed national legislation, is available at

Suggested by: Philipp Muessig
Added: 01/28/02
Updated: 06/17/11