Friday, January 22, 2010

CBS Evening News

CBS to air story on antibiotic use in livestock and poultry

The agricultural press is buzzing with the announcement that CBS Evening News plans next week to air a story on antibiotic use in livestock and poultry production, according to Tribune Co.'s The Morning Call Web site,,0,743948.story.

For the story, CBS anchor Katie Couric visited Koch's Turkey Farm in Tamaqua, Pa., which raises its turkeys free-range and antibiotic-free.

Originally scheduled to air this week, the segment has been rescheduled for sometime next week due to this week's Haiti crisis coverage, CBS producer Ashley Velie was quoted as saying.

The segment also is expected to include footage on Applegate Farms, a New Jersey producer of antibiotic-free, ready-to-eat foods including deli meats, bacon and hot dogs.

CBS has been to Missouri, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Denmark to research this story and is expected to focus on antibiotic use in pork and poultry production, according to industry groups that have been contacted by CBS.

They aren't a bit happy about this focus on the antibiotics that are implicated in the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which cause devastating infections impossible to overcome. The stated reason for feeding subclinical doses of antibiotics as part of the regular feeding regimen is that they make the birds grow faster. The antibiotics also help control infections, which would be rampant in the filthy, overcrowded conditions in which industrial chickens are raised.

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