Recent Articles About Antibiotics

The North American Meat Institute, which represents nearly all meat and poultry producers in the U.S., appears eager to see the The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) solidified.

“We support free trade, and improved access to EU markets is of great interest to our members as there is strong demand in the EU for high quality U.S. meat and poultry,” the Institute said in a recent statement. “We are hopeful that TTIP would expand trade opportunities and our ability to deliver safe food to the EU market.” Read more

A half-mile down the dusty road of a northern California ranch stands a large, black rectangle, silhouetted against the afternoon sun. Under a black water-resistant cover sit nine of the most sophisticated compost piles on earth. They’re squeezed together with large hay bales. Buried inside are moisture and gas sensors, thermometers, air ventilators, and strangely, lots of prescription drugs.

This is the site of an experiment by Gary Andersen, a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. With prescription drugs and antibiotics increasingly appearing in our drinking water or taken up by plants, Andersen wants to know whether the same tiny microorganisms that chew up your coffee grounds and apple cores, can also be used to destroy drugs so they don’t wind up in our environment. Read more

With its focus on dense, whole grain breads, smoked fish, berries, and a high percentage of plants, Denmark’s Nordic diet has been called “the New Mediterranean diet.” Now, it seems that we might also benefit from studying the nation’s larger structural choices when it comes to making food.

From food waste reduction to better treatment of both animals and people working in the its food industry, here are some lessons that the U.S. could afford to learn from this small northern European nation. Read more

This spring, when McDonald’s announced its plans to start buying chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine, the move had a ripple effect throughout the food supply. McDonalds is the nation’s second largest chicken buyer and Tyson Foods, the largest U.S. poultry producer, and one of McDonalds’ major suppliers, followed shortly thereafter with a similar announcement. A few weeks later, the nation’s number-two poultry producer, Pilgrim’s Pride, announced its own antibiotic reduction policy. Read more

Not every writer can speak to both seasoned experts and curious newcomers, but that is precisely what Barry Estabrook can do well. In his 2011 book, Tomatoland, Estabrook took a deep dive in the modern tomato industry, shining a light on labor abuse in Florida, and the work of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. In addition to telling a riveting and complex story full of pesticides poisoning, escape from slavery, and tense court cases, Estabrook helped bring attention to one of the most important American labor struggles of the last few decades. Read more

Last week, Tyson Foods made major headlines when it announced that it was “striving to eliminate human antibiotics from broiler chicken production by September 2017.” The move garnered a great deal of accolades for one of the biggest chicken producers in the world. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which has been campaigning to stop the overuse of antibiotics in farming for years, has called this “the tipping point for getting the chicken industry off antibiotics.” Read more

McDonald’s announced today that it’s making a greater effort at offering transparency and engagement to the public, in a new campaign it’s calling “Our Food, Your Questions.” McDonald’s has a serious image problem and a sagging bottom line, which might explain its sudden willingness to fling the barn door open as a way to shed its reputation for serving mass-produced, unhealthy food. Showing the public how the sausage is made may win favor with some consumers, but a better strategy for the fast food giant would be to make truly meaningful commitments to sustainability. Read more