July 24, 2008
Richard Raymond, M.D.
Under Secretary for Food Safety
United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave, SW
Room 1140, South Building
Washington, D.C. 20250-3700
Dear Dr. Raymond,
We are writing to support the USDA’s June 2, 2008 decision to rescind Tyson Food’s “Raised without antibiotics that impact human antibiotic resistance” label. In particular, we agree with Food Safety Inspection Service’s (FSIS) decision that the routine injection of gentamicin into eggs just prior to hatching does indeed constitute a use of antibiotics during the “raising” of chickens. Tyson argued that its label was not misleading because the term “raised without antibiotics” only refers to the post-hatch phase of the chick’s life. A Tyson spokesman “described the vaccinations as a standard practice, as rules on labels describing how birds are ‘raised’ typically start from the second day of life” (bold added).’
For the full letter, click here (PDF format).