USDA wants removal of Tyson's â€œno antibiotics labelâ€
Tyson Foods Inc. can no longer label its products as
"raised without antibiotics", according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture
According to the USDA, Tyson spent millions on advertising and
promotion campaigns to boost the sales of its products. Meanwhile, Tyson Foods
said that it stands by the truthfulness of its product labels and remains fully
committed to its "Raised without Antibiotics" chicken programme. The company
added that it expects no disruption in service to its customers.
Tyson had previously received approval from the USDA in May to label its
products as 'raised without antibiotics'. However, Tyson's poultry-feed
formulations still contain ionophores, which are antibiotics according to the
Tyson said in a statement, "We do not believe ionophores are antibiotics.
FDA is the agency Congress has authorised to regulate animal drugs and it
specifically excludes ionophores from the list of animal drugs deemed as
Tyson noted that ionophores are in a different class than antibiotics and
are recognized and approved by the federal government as a safe feed ingredient.
The company added that ionophores are permitted in chicken feed as a preventive
measure against coccidiosis, an intestinal illness. Tyson stated that ionophores
remain in the intestinal tract of the animal and do not carry over into meat
consumed by humans.
Public comment period
Tyson reportedly has 45 days to remove the labels from its products or stop
using ionophores. In addition, the USDA gave the company the option of
petitioning it to initiate a public-comment period on whether ionophores could
be used in meat and poultry products labelled as "raised without antibiotics".
Tyson was also reportedly given an option of submitting a new label application
with new documentation.
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