Jean Halloran of Consumers Union: Trader Joe's, Antibiotics, & MRSA
Jean Halloran rejoins Katy Keiffer on this week's installment of Straight, No Chaser. Jean has worked on food safety and sustainability issues at in the Yonkers Office of Consumers Union for the last 25 years, and also works with consumer organizations globally. She helped develop international standards for safety assessment of genetically engineered food at the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Once again, Katy and Jean are talking about antibiotic usage in meat production. Recently, Consumers Union has urged Trader Joe's to stop selling antibiotic-laden meat with a petition of 557,772 signatures from consumers. Learn more about the campaign and its outcome on this episode. Later, Katy and Jean talk about MRSA in pork, and other forms of resistant bacteria. How do antibiotics in meat affect antibiotic resistance in hospitals and medical treatment? Find out on this week's Straight, No Chaser! This episode has been sponsored by Hearst Ranch.
"MRSA has become disturbingly common in hog production and among hog workers. How it got there, we're not exactly sure...but there is evidence of Staph Aureus at a very low level in about half of the samples they [Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy] looked at. About 6 percent was antibiotic-resistant MRSA."
"The treatment of sick animals accounts for only 5% of antibiotic use as indicated by how many animals are injected with antibiotics. The remaining percentage of usage has been traditionally thought to be for growth promotion, although now they are calling it disease prevention..."
"'Natural' has nothing to do with how the animal was raised. 'Natural' only means that there was no coloring added to the meat after slaughter."
-- Jean Halloran on Straight, No Chaser