Americans Are Concerned About Antibiotics In Their Meat

2012-07-13 Americans Are Concerned About Antibiotics In Their Meat

The title above is from the June 23, 2012 issue of the International Business Times, which was one of several articles from multiple news sources on the subject. The articles were the result of a recent Consumer Reports National Research Center poll titled, Antibiotics in Animal Feed. The poll was conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation of Princeton, New Jersey, and was given to a nationally representative sample of 1,000 U.S. residents.

The results of the poll showed that 86% of respondents felt that people should be able to go to the supermarket and purchase meat and poultry not raised with antibiotics. Women felt more strongly about this issue than did men.

The poll also noted that 60% of those polled said they would pay more for such meat and poultry. The additional amount they were willing to pay varied with 37% willing to pay a dollar or more per pound, while 35% said they would only buy antibiotic free meat if it were the same cost as regular meat.

The study authors did report that, "The majority of respondents were extremely or very concerned about issues related to the use of antibiotics in animal feed, including the potential creation of superbugs due to overuse of antibiotics, unsanitary and crowded conditions for livestock, human consumption of antibiotic residue, and environmental effects due to agricultural runoff containing antibiotics."

According to a CNN, June 20, 2012 article, the World Health Organization has chimed in on the discussion of antibiotic usage causing superbug creation with a statement on their website that reads, "Inappropriate and irrational use of medicines provides favorable conditions for resistant microorganisms to emerge and spread. WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said, "Worldwide, the fact that greater quantities of antibiotics are used in healthy animals than in unhealthy humans is a cause for great concern."

The CNN article quotes Jean Halloran, the Director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union, "The government seems unable to take this step, so we're looking at the marketplace. It's supermarkets who stock these products, and consumers who buy them." Later in the same article, she continues by pointing out that antibiotic free meat does not have to be more expensive, "We've proved meat without antibiotics doesn't have to be expensive," said Halloran. "We compared antibiotic-free meat prices to the prices of other national meat products, and found the cost to be comparable, and in some cases lower than traditional products."