If you've been buying Tyson chicken because of the label that claims it is "raised without antibiotics," better find a new brand.
The Department of Agriculture has told Tyson Foods to stop labeling its chicken that way or take an antibiotic called ionophores out of its chicken feed, according to the Rocky Mountain News.
Ionophores can help prevent weight loss and death in poultry, and Tyson has reportedly requested that they not be classified as antibiotics.
The larger issue, for some ethical consumers, is how meat is raised. In general, the potential for breeding bacteria resistant to antibiotics is the logical concern leading consumers to buy antibiotic-free meats. But the larger picture issue involves the close confinement of masses of animals -- often in conditions deemed unethical by animal welfare advocates -- which contributes to the spread of disease and necessitates the use of antibiotics.
Consumers have to be able to trust what a label seems to mean, since many will read more into it than the law dictates.
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