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Limousin World
The View From Here | August 2012

Kyle Haley

More And More Americans Want Their Meat Raised Without Antibiotics
That was the headline for a story by Deirdre Imus that recently appeared on FoxNews.com.

In my opinion, the article was fairly accurate, well enough written and didn’t come off as protein bashing or condeming production practices, although she did take a jab or two at “factory farming” and “mass medication” of livestock. The basis for the article was a Consumer Reports poll that showed a majority of Americans want meat raised without antibiotics to be sold at their local supermarket, and more than half of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay more for that guarantee.

It appears to me the major thrust of her article was her belief the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should get tougher on antibiotic use and require standardized labeling of meat products that informs consumers whether or not the animals have been treated with antibiotics. The article mentions a new, proposed VOLUNTARY FDA rule that prohibits antibiotic use for the sole purpose of making animals grow bigger, faster as a good start.

Possibly her most appropriate comments in the entire article were:
“Industry, however, would be wise to heed the results of the Consumer Reports poll, if for no other reason than the market—better known as their consumers—is shifting. Eighty-six percent of people surveyed indicated that meat raised without antibiotics should be available in their local supermarket.” I couldn’t agree with her more on her point that producers should always strive to provide exactly what the consumer wants. And in this instance it just happens to be antibiotic-free proteins.

Whether or not the beef, poultry and pork found on supermarket shelves has unhealthy levels of antibiotics in it is really not the point. To grow demand it would be in our best interest to give the consumers what they want.

As a side note, I do agree with those who say we should do a better job educating the average consumer about our where our food comes from, but I do not for one moment think we should put all of our eggs in that one basket.

And while this particular article focused on antibiotics, one can only assume a growing number of consumers feel the same about growth implants, beta-agonists, etc. Which, as I have said in the past, is great news for Limousin.

Because when it comes to the all-natural realm of beef production, no other breed shines quite as bright as Limousin.

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