Antibiotics

US, European Consumer Groups Holding Public Events In DC This Week

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Consumer Program Director

The PIRG-backed TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (tacd.org) -- a forum to ensure that trade policies serve consumers -- holds its 17th Annual Meeting in Washington on Tuesday 21 March. The public main event is titled: "A consumer agenda for transatlantic markets: safeguarding protections and making progress in times of political change." On Wednesday, the group sponsors two public side events: (1) Consumer Health, Consumer Action and Antimicrobial Resistance and (2) Empowering and Protecting Youth in the Big Data Era.

If It Looks Like a Chicken and Walks Like a Chicken

By | Steve Blackledge
Public Health Program Director

Earlier this week, Tyson Foods announced another big step toward stopping the overuse of antibiotics on industrial farms. The announcement underscores a larger trend that’s been happening for a few years now; consumer pressure is helping to drive important public health changes in the marketplace. To be sure, there are laggards on the antibiotics front (see our recent blog on KFC), but perhaps no company has lagged as aggressively and proudly as Sanderson Farms. 

Chicken Industry Moves Further Away From Antibiotics, but KFC Still Chickens Out

By | Matthew Wellington
Antibiotics Program Field Director

Bravo, Tyson Foods! Today the company announced its plan to eliminate antibiotics in the chickens raised for its brand name chicken offerings (breasts, wings, and nuggets). This move by the largest U.S. meat company (in revenue), is indicative of a larger paradigm shift in the chicken industry.

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Antibiotics

Consumer Groups Petition 16 Fast Food Chains to Reduce Antibiotic Use

Consumer health and food safety groups today delivered petitions signed by more than 125,000 people to the CEOs of 16 fast food restaurants, calling on them to stop the unnecessary use of antibiotics in their meat and poultry supply. Medical experts agree that the overuse of antibiotics in livestock poses a major public health threat by increasing the spread of deadly drug-resistant bacteria, yet 2015 data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shows that the use of antibiotics in agriculture continues to rise.

Burger King Announces New Antibiotics Policy. Does It Measure Up?

By | Matthew Wellington
Antibiotics Program Field Director

It’s a good sign when fast food companies are racing to announce initiatives to improve their health policies and one-up the competition. That’s why I’m glad to see another announcement from a restaurant, this time the home of the Whopper, to limit antibiotics use. However, Burger King’s announcement falls short not only of what needs to be done to address a major public health crisis, but also of what its industry peers have done.

Jack in the Box Springs into Action on Antibiotics

By | Matthew Wellington
Antibiotics Program Field Director

Here’s a holiday present for us all. Jack in the Box Inc., which also owns Qdoba Mexican Eats, committed to eliminating the routine use of antibiotics from its poultry supply by 2020. On behalf of those working to protect public health, I extend a warm thank you to the company’s leadership.

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Antibiotics

New Troubling News on Antibiotic Overuse

Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the latest numbers showing that the sale of medically-important antibiotics for livestock and poultry continued to rise last year. The data show a two percent increase in sales between 2014 and 2015.

Another (yes, another) reason to stop overusing antibiotics

By | Matthew Wellington
Antibiotics Program Field Director

Researchers from The Ohio State University published a report today about the discovery of E-coli bacteria resistant to the antibiotic carbapenem in an Ohio swine facility. Uh oh.

Subway on track to ditch antibiotics

By | Matthew Wellington
Antibiotics Program Field Director

Subway recently confirmed that it will ring in the New Year serving chicken raised without antibiotics. Turkey, pork, and beef will follow. Kudos to the “eat fresh” brand for making this happen and for hitting their first timeline.

What can consumers do to save antibiotics?

By | Jeremy Flood
Tax & Budget Digital Campaigner

There’s a rising tide of consumer awareness and concern about antibiotics use in our food supply, and restaurants like McDonald’s and Subway are responding. Even though there’s been considerable progress, there is still a long way to go to eliminate all routine antibiotic use in meat production, and consumers have a vital role to play in changing the status quo.  

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