BOMBSHELL: USDA turns a blind eye to meat supply contaminated with banned pharmaceutical drugs

Tuesday, November 20, 2018
By Paul Martin

by: Lance D Johnson
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Sanderson Farms, the third largest poultry producer in the nation, advertises that their chicken is “natural” and “antibiotic-free.” Like many large meat producers, Sanderson Farms gets away with these false claims without receiving any enforceable scientific scrutiny from meat inspectors working for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Now, independent food safety organizations are challenging these “natural” and “antibiotic-free” claims in court.

According to a lawsuit, a team of independent scientists from the Consumers Union have analyzed USDA tests conducted on thousands of random meat samples from poultry, pork, and beef farms across the country. The findings, published by Consumer Reports, are shocking. Out of nearly 6,000 samples of meat, 2.6 percent contained chloramphenicol, an antibiotic that causes anemia in humans. For every 10,000 people exposed to chloramphenicol, one will suffer a life threatening condition called aplastic anemia. The levels of chloramphenicol exceeded safety limits set by the Consumer Union’s team of scientists.

Another drug detected is ketamine. This veterinary anesthetic is used illegally in livestock and elicits hallucinogenic effects. It’s also an illegal party drug, but families everywhere are unknowingly getting small doses at the dinner table. Finally, 1.6 percent of the samples included phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory drug that is too risky at any level for human health. Phenylbutazone is a known carcinogen that also causes aplastic anemia. Low level dietary consumption of these drugs raises one’s risk of cancer, causes antibiotic resistance, weakened immunity, and genetic harm to developing fetuses.

USDA contests its own safety data

Because the USDA permits drug residue in meat products at levels greater than what independent scientists consider unsafe, the USDA refuses to take this issue seriously. Even though these drugs are banned for prescription use and restricted in meat products, the USDA turns a blind eye to the fact that a percentage of meat products are contaminated with the drugs.

When Consumer’s Union followed up with government officials, doctors and industry groups, they were stonewalled. It turns out that drug residues in meat products are the dirty secret of the meat industry, but it’s something that no one, not even the USDA cares about. In fact, chief scientist for the USDA, Emilio Esteban, Ph.D., contests the independent analysis conducted by the Consumer’s Union. Even though the data was obtained from the USDA itself through a Freedom of Information Act request, Esteban says the analysis is “unconfirmed” and should be “discounted.”

What the USDA should be doing

The Rest…HERE

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