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'Hidden' antibiotics in chicken feed

(11 Posts)
M0nica Sun 31-Mar-19 09:10:42

It was reported on the news this morning that over 200 tons of antibiotics, which are not recorded as being used in chicken food, are fed to chicken quite legally every year by British chicken farmers,. They are listed as additives to chicken feed under some other name and no one has realised.

As someone allergic to some antibiotics, I am so glad I decided 20 years ago to eat only organic chicken. As this has been accompanied by cutting down the portion size of all the meat we eat, including chicken, it has had relatively little effect on our food bills.

Urmstongran Sun 31-Mar-19 10:13:37

Could this be contributing to our over use of antibiotics MOnica? If so it’s difficult for our GP ‘s to counteract. Quite scary really.

Plus I have noticed in supermarkets that organic chickens look like they used to do ‘in the olden days’ with skinnier thighs and less plump breasts that the cheaper chickens provide!

notentirelyallhere Sun 31-Mar-19 10:45:42

It's not just chicken, it is still the case that vets, under pressure from farmers, use antibiotics prophylactically with other farm animals where less than ideal welfare standards are the norm.

There is some cooperation between the medical and veterinary professions to address overuse of antibiotics that goes back to a commission set up by David Cameron et al in 2014 or thereabouts I think. The EU and the UN have both expressed concern about this but its not difficult to find reports about the huge problems of antibiotics and the farming industry of the US. Sadly, this leads immediately to the dreaded Brexit and pressure on the UK to make trade deals that water down food standards and animal welfare.

This is all compounded by the insistence that food must be cheap. It's all very well for those of us who can afford to buy organic and who know how to budget and cook inexpensively but how we change the larger situation I do not know. There was a GN thread a while back, begun in all innocence about the average person no longer knowing how to do either which quickly deteriorated into a slanging match about some people not understanding the living conditions of the less well off. I find that unhelpful, sad and distracting.

I think Jamie Oliver was ultimately vilified for his healthy eating campaign which is a shame but perhaps the way forward is small scale iniatives and hoping that the government can be persuaded to act for the greater good and not just trade agreements.

EllanVannin Sun 31-Mar-19 11:15:29

Not only chickens, I suspect.

M0nica Mon 01-Apr-19 08:48:32

I found a reference to this at last. Yesterday when I heard it, it was broadcast only, not even online.

I stopped eating both poultry and pork outside the home nearly 20 years ago, because of my concerns about the amount of antibiotics being fed to animals - and through them to me.

My worry about trade deals with the US is not so much chlorine washes for chicken, as much as the vast amount of antibiotics they feed to all animals going into the food trade, not just to protect from the infections that are endemic in herds/flocks kept in overcrowded conditions but also their use as growth promoters.

Yes, Urmston, it is a major contributor to our overuse of antibiotics and the growth of anti-biotic resistant infections.

travelsafar Mon 01-Apr-19 11:43:44

Saw story about this on Country File last night, scarey. I am now going to try always to buy organic chicken as really dont like the idea of the small amount of meat that do i eat being pumped full of chemicals.I remember as a child my mum kept chickens and we had free range eggs plus totally organic chicken to eat when my dad secretly did the deed whilst we were at school.We also ate lots of rabbit, pigeon and pheasant as we lived on a farm and my dad went shooting

Fennel Mon 01-Apr-19 12:02:25

How would you know if animals have been fed antibiotics?
Is 'organic' any guarantee of no antibiotics?
We don't eat much meat or chicken, but I'd like to know.
When we had our own hens, and ate many of them, they ate maize and melange fermier which is a mixture of different grains.
The appearance of the meat, its texture and taste was completely different from the shop bought ones we have now. Almost a different species.

EllanVannin Mon 01-Apr-19 12:55:07

Some of the supermarket meat is putrid ! If you compare with years ago 50's/60's usually on a Sunday, you could tell by the smell of the cooking which animal it was in the oven------well I could.
Bought meat today is so full of water and other gubbins that it wouldn't take me long to become vegetarian.
Unless the meat is bought from a known farm, it's rubbish.

M0nica Mon 01-Apr-19 17:18:15

Organic should be a guarantee of food being antibiotic free. Animal welfare standards are set up to reduce the possibility ofinfection and the animals will not be given antibiotics either officially or undercover for either general infection control or growth promotion.

Antibiotics can be given when an animal is ill, but the animal has to be isolated and then has to be kept out of the food chain for a significant time after it has recovered.

Of course there will be cheats, when were there ever not, but the monitoring is quite strict so as long as you are buying from a reputable supermarket or directly from the producer you should be OK.

I currently buy organic chicken in Waitrose as my local chicken supplier is no longer around, but I buy all other meat from a good and trustworthy local producer/butcher who I have been using for over 20 years.

I agree with you EllanVannin

BlueBelle Mon 01-Apr-19 17:59:39

Thank goodness I don’t eat meat bu5 I wish my grandkids didn’t

nonnasusie Mon 01-Apr-19 19:20:35

We raise and eat our own chickens. They are fed grain,corn and wheat mix from a local merchant with the addition of plenty of greens!! No comparison to shop bought! They also have a longer happier life before being eaten!