Report reveals that grocery chains are failing on antibiotics

A new report shows that top U.S. grocery chains' needless use of antibiotics in their meat supply chains is endangering public health.

Staff | TPIN
CALPIRG Public Health Advocate Sander Kushen releases the "Superbugs in Stock" report at an event in California.

Our weekly grocery run shouldn’t increase the risk for dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Yet according to “Superbugs in Stock,” a report co-authored by our research partners at U.S. PIRG Education Fund, the majority of grocery chains reviewed are failing to address the needless use of antibiotics in their private label meat supplies. The overuse of medically important antibiotics in meat production — often used to compensate for stressful, unsanitary, and overcrowded conditions, not to treat sick animals — is contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, which already kill an estimated 160,000 Americans each year.

Grocery companies are a primary source of meat products consumed in American households, and “Superbugs in Stock” revealed that the majority of the top 12 U.S. grocery chains are failing to meaningfully address the issue of antibiotic overuse by their meat suppliers.

To protect public health, grocery companies must require their meat suppliers to use medically important antibiotics only to treat sick animals, not to compensate for industrial farming conditions.

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Matt Wellington

Former Director, Public Health Campaigns, PIRG


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