Iowa Public Television


Just Say No to Antibiotics

posted on June 9, 2006

Concerns about the human health implications of treating cattle, pigs and poultry with antibiotics to promote growth are prompting Maine to adopt what supporters call the first state meat purchasing preference policy of its kind in the nation.

The policy will inform meat producers that Maine prefers to purchase animal products that have not been given antibiotics. It will also encourage area school districts to use suppliers who follow this system.

The new strategy stems from a law that calls for further research into the use of antibiotics in Maine animals.

Maine Senator Scott Cowger said he is unaware of farmers in the state who use antibiotics as growth stimulants, but purchasing the policy makes a statement that acknowledges the potential impact on human health.

Supporters have asked members of Congress in Maine and New Hampshire to support federal legislation addressing the issue. All four members of Maine's congressional delegation are co-sponsoring Senate or House versions of the bill.

Tags: agriculture animals cattle chickens drugs livestock meat news pigs poultry