Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Raising chickens

Now that consumers are willing to pay extra for food that is perceived to be organic or pesticide free there is also, thankfully, some interest in meat that is raised without the use of antibiotics. (Technically we should really just avoid the use of antibiotics as growth stimulators - their veterinary use should remain).

What is the poor meat producing industry supposed to do? Tyson Foods had a good idea - they would label their meat as 'raised without antibiotics' to attract the discerning shopper whilst continuing to inject eggs with antibiotics. Their argument - that the labels were accurate because chickens aren't "raised" until after they're born - didn't impress a judge and the company, although not admitting any wrongdoing, has agreed to settle the class action lawsuit for $5 million, not including $3 million in attorneys' fees.

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