Antibiotics use is widespread in the production of livestock, helping to create “superbugs,” and aggravating the public health problem of antibiotic resistance. To address these issues, Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, in a new report released today, “Meat on Drugs: The Overuse of Antibiotics in Food Animals and What Supermarkets and Consumers Can Do to Stop It,” calls on supermarkets to stock only meat and poultry raised without antibiotics, and urges consumers to buy these products. Consumers Union is asking Trader Joe’s to lead the transition by selling only meat and poultry raised without antibiotics. Read more
The food safety bill–S. 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act–which some had given up for dead, was revived late Sunday attached to a shell bill and passed unanimously just before the Senate adjourned for the day.
The bill, with the Tester-Hagan small farm exemption intact, now goes back to the House. But the action will likely put the food safety law on President Obama’s desk before Christmas. Read more
Consumer Reports’ latest tests of 42 samples from cans and pouches of tuna bought primarily in the New York metropolitan area and online confirm that white (albacore) tuna usually contains far more mercury than light tuna. According to Consumers Union, pregnant women should avoid tuna and younger women and kids should limit their consumption. Read more
Safe and sustainable: we need our food to be both, and nowhere has the case been made better than in the Academy Award-nominated documentary, Food, Inc. Earlier this month, Consumers Union, long a proponent of safe, sustainable food, hosted an Activist Summit in Washington, D.C. which featured two of the film’s leading voices: Barbara Kowalcyk, who lost her two-year-old son to beef suspected of contamination with E.coli 0157:H7, and whose struggle for tougher food safety laws is documented in the film, and Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, and the film’s co-producer. Read more
Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, and more than 80 farmers, public health, environmental, and organic food organizations today sent a letter to Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Food at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and to Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), expressing serious concerns that a proposed U.S. position on food labeling would create major problems for American producers who want to label their products as free of genetically modified (GM)/genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. A copy of the letter can be found online [PDF]. Read more
Yoplait yogurt, the 19th largest dairy processor in the country, announced today that by August of this year, all Yoplait branded products will be made with milk that is 100 percent farmer certified to come from cows not treated with rbGH (or recombinant bovine growth hormone) an artificial hormone also known as rbST (recombinant bovine somatotropin). Read more