Thursday, August 04, 2005

Reduced Antibiotics in Pork

In a departure from industry practice, Compass Group North America is no longer buying pork raised on antibiotics. Compass Group is the countries second largest food-service company, serving schools and institutions nationwide. They serve over 30 million pounds of pork products every year.

Antibiotics are used in the livestock industry to promote growth in animals. This use has been blamed for the difficulty in treating diseases in humans due to the bacteria becoming resistant. The drugs can also be used to cover up inferior management in the industry.

The worlds largest hog producer, Smithfield Foods, is the only major supplier that meets the new requirement. They stopped using antibiotics for growth several years ago. Smithfield now relies on better management techniques to keep the animals healthy.

Antibiotics can still be used to treat an animal, or to prevent the spread of disease.

Compass was assisted in drafting it's policy by Environmental Defense, a nonprofit group. Environmental Defense has worked in the past with McDonald's, to stop using chickens raised with antibiotics.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just recently banned the use of Baytril in poultry raising due to antibiotic resistance.

The use of antibiotics by the livestock industry seems to be on the decline. This should help avert the crisis of resistant bacteria in the health care industry.


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