Consumer Reports believes that antibiotic use is a concern. It’s not a bad thing. It leads to healthy pigs and delicious bacon. It’s like saying that you shouldn’t give a first-grader medicine when he’s sick. That’s the key thing here— When. They’re. Sick. Consumer Reports acts as if antibiotics are injected into pigs in secret backrooms against their will. Uh, no.
First of all, farmers work closely with veterinarians to determine safe antibiotic administration techniques and quantities. All medication is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before distribution. Then, it’s monitored by the Animal Health Institute, the Food and Safety Inspection Service, the FDA, and other entities governed by the Animal Drug Free User Act.
American farmers can’t and don’t sidestep these rules. Why would they? They eat the same food we do. Does Consumer Reports have so little faith in our farmers that they don’t trust what they’re doing? These are American pork farmers, and they are the best at what they do.
Secondly, we need to repeat: Antibiotics are used for caring for sick animals and preventing the spread of diseases on farms.
Pig farmers have an obligation to use antibiotic medicine responsibly and as needed to treat their pigs. That’s why they work closely with veterinarians to decide when and how to use antibiotics to protect a pig’s health. These disease-prevention strategies are essential for animal health because it’s better to prevent, rather than treat, disease. Would you rather treat cancer or prevent it from ever happening? Same with pigs.
This misguided cry against antibiotic use is damaging American pork farmers’ businesses, reputations, and livelihoods. These are everyday Americans who feed their families (including the next generation of bacon farmers!) based on their ability to buy, raise, and sell pork responsibly.
Haters are our motivators. Keep doing what you’re doing, pork farmers. Keep giving us happiness bacon.