Another day, another scathing report of drug residues in meat. Steel your stomachs, readers.
According to a complaint filed in San Francisco federal court Thursday, chicken from Sanderson Farms was found to contain banned drugs and a wide-ranging cocktail of contaminants, including:
- Chloramphenicol: an antibiotic that can cause bone marrow suppression in humans
- Desethylene Ciprofloxacin: an antibiotic that is critically important for human medicine.
- Ketamine: Yes, that ketamine, of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas fame.
- 82 other instances of “unconfirmed residues,” ranging from opioid analgesics to pesticides.
This information was uncovered by a Freedom of Information Act request made by Organic Consumers Association, Friends of the Earth, and Center for Food Safety. No word yet from the USDA yet on enforcement actions.
Already, 2 million people in the U.S. contract antibiotic resistant pathogens every single year, and the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the CDC (just to name a few), have declared the growing resistance to antibiotics a global crisis. Still, the vast majority of antibiotics purchased in the U.S. are being given to farm animals, which has a direct effect on their usefulness in fighting human disease.
I have no research of ketamine resistance, but it’s safe to assume that consumers aren’t expecting their lunch to be marinated with psychoactive drug residues.
Clean meat – that is, meat produced by growing animal cells into meat outside of an animal – can’t come soon enough. After all, there’s a reason this food earns the name “clean meat.” It’s free from antibiotic residues and other bacterial contaminants that come standard in conventional meat production.
The meat industry is in desperate need of transformation. It's time to stop producing meat in a way that prioritizes profit over public health and start investing in healthy, humane, and sustainable alternatives.
To learn more about The Good Food Institute's work to transform the food system for the better, check out what we do!