New Study May Have You Questioning Your Antibiotic-Free Beef
Food - Drink
According to a new study, some beef sold in the U.S. labeled "raised without antibiotics" may not actually be antibiotic-free. The study explains the USDA "does not require empirical antibiotic testing" to verify meat suppliers' claims, so there is potential to cheat the system.
The study, published in Science magazine, investigated cattle at 33 RWA (raised without antibiotics) certified feedyards, and found that only 85% tested completely free of antibiotics. 10% of cattle came from lots where tests for antibiotics yielded at least one positive result, and 5% came from lots where all samples came back positive.
To solve the problem, the study suggests adopting reforms like more vigorous, continuous testing of RWA-labeled meat and increased transparency from producers. Otherwise, they believe consumers may lose their trust in the RWA label entirely.