New Study May Have You Questioning Your Antibiotic-Free Beef
By ANABELLE DOLINER
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.
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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.
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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.
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