President of United States promotes meat with fewer antibiotics |

President of United States promotes meat with fewer antibiotics

In a memo released June 2, President Barack Obama directed the government to support responsible antibiotic-use policies in an emerging market for meat that has been produced as such.

This will start with serving meat with reduced antibiotics in federal cafeterias and, by 2020, giving preference to vendors selling the meat.

The memo, signed by the president, works with the administrations’ efforts to prevent the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are a threat to human health. An estimated 23,000 Americans die annually from resistant bacteria.

The first step in the memo is for federal agencies to include an option in food contracts for suppliers to provide beef, pork and chicken from farms that do not use medically important antibiotics as a growth promotant.

The White House announcement on the federal preference for meat produced with fewer antibiotics follows the May 7 announcement by an alliance of big school districts and Pew Charitable Trusts. The two have come together to ensure chicken used in school cafeterias is produced with fewer antibiotics.

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