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chicken Archives - Greener Choices

Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

America’s Most Wanted Food Labels Conference

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Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center has prepared a guide to third-party certification labels commonly found on meat and poultry products. Labels have several advantages: publicly available standards, independent verification, and meaningful requirements for animal welfare that go beyond industry norms (e.g. prohibiting gestation crates, increasing living space requirements). In this way, meaningful, certified labels provide the highest level of assurance for consumers.

The Center’s guide highlights the policies of third-party labels regarding routine uses of all antibiotics, including those important in human medicine as well as animal antibiotics like ionophores, and other drugs like beta-agonists and hormones. We also review their animal welfare and farm management standards. You can use this detailed guide to make more informed decisions about the health, safety and sustainability of the meat and poultry you buy, and help move the marketplace in a better direction.

Food Labels

Americas Most Wanted

What consumers can do to take action against misleading labels. A comprehensive list of the facts about labels and the need to differentiate between the facts and the lies.

Conference

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The Organic Label on Food is highly meaningful and in manyways meets consumer expectations.It is backed by federal regulations which encourage sustainable farming practices...

What makes a good Label?

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Did you know?

Did you know?

Nearly half of consumers think the "natural" label is verified.

It isn't.

Labels

Makes a Good Label?

Generally, the best labels are seals or logos indicating that an independent organization has verified that the producer met a set of meaningful and consistent standards for environmental stewardship, animal welfare and/or social justice.

Rating labels

Criteria We Use to Evaluate Labels

When we evaluate and rate labels, we use the following criteria:

 

Labels should be backed by a set of meaningful standards. The standards should have requirements that go beyond the industry norm or basic legal requirements. These standards should be verifiable by the certifying group or another independent inspection organization.

A label used on one product should have the same meaning if it used on other products. Standards should be verifiable in a consistent manner for different products.

The organization behind a label should make information about its organizational structure, funding, board of directors, and certification standards available to the public.

Certifying organizations and their employees should not have any ties to, and should not receive any funding, sales fees, or contributions, from logo users except fees for certification. Employees of companies whose products are certified, or who are applying for certification, should not be affiliated in any way with the certifier.

All standards should be developed with input from multiple stakeholders including consumers, industry, environmentalists and social representatives in a way that doesn't compromise the independence of the certifier. Industry representatives, for example, can play an important advisory role without having direct financial, decision making or management ties to the certifier.

A Deep Dive into Chicken Labels

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Criteria Overview

Chicken Label Report

As consumers become increasingly concerned with how food is produced and how farm animals are raised and treated, farmers and companies are responding with various labels and claims. Labels or claims generally aim to assure consumers that the food was produced in a better way - whether it be more humane, sustainable or healthy - but they can vary widely in how meaningful they are and in what is actually required.

The chart below is designed to help you better understand the different labels and claims you'll find on chicken. We looked at 23 different labels you might find on a package of chicken, and what they actually require for 17 different areas that affect either animal welfare (e.g., whether the chickens can go outdoors), public health (e.g., prudent antibiotic use) and sustainability (e.g., whether the chicken feed contains genetically engineered crops).

Meat, Dairy, & Eggs

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There’s a high cost to cheap protein. The way we raise the animals destined for our dinner tables has a direct impact on the health and safety of our food. There should be no debate: It’s crucial to eliminate the routine use of antibiotics in farm animals.

We know that all meat may contain harmful bacteria unless properly cooked. But how serious is the problem? We tested hundreds of samples of beef, poultry and pork, and routinely found pathogens like E. coli, Salmonella, enterococcus, campylobacter, Yersinia and more—including some that have become multi-drug resistant. Sure, you can cook it thoroughly, but the fact is, we believe pathogens like Salmonella shouldn’t be on your meat in the first place.

Thankfully, the news isn’t all bad. Whether it’s beef, shrimp or chicken, our testing shows that animals raised without antibiotics or even more sustainably are less likely to harbor multidrug-resistant bacteria than meat from conventionally raised animals. That tells us raising farm animals sustainably isn’t just good for them, it’s good for us too.

June 2011

Here’s an overview of some significant developments regarding arsenic in food in the last year...

The drug maker Pfizer announced this week that it will suspend the sale of Roxarsone (3-Nitro), a drug used to kill parasites and promote growth in pigs and poultry, because it contains a form of arsenic that can become carcinogenic in humans.

Mad Cow Disease

Mad cow case highlights need for further investigation and better testing

Following the U.S. Department of Agriculture announcement last week of a new case of mad cow disease in California, Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports...

Routine Drug Use in Livestock and Poultry

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Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center has prepared a guide to third-party certification labels commonly found on meat and poultry products. Labels have several advantages: publicly available standards, independent verification, and meaningful requirements for animal welfare that go beyond industry norms (e.g. prohibiting gestation crates, increasing living space requirements). In this way, meaningful, certified labels provide the highest level of assurance for consumers.

The Center’s guide highlights the policies of third-party labels regarding routine uses of all antibiotics, including those important in human medicine as well as animal antibiotics like ionophores, and other drugs like beta-agonists and hormones. We also review their animal welfare and farm management standards. You can use this detailed guide to make more informed decisions about the health, safety and sustainability of the meat and poultry you buy, and help move the marketplace in a better direction.

 

 

Antibiotic use in organic chicken hatcheries

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Improving the Organic Label

Prohibiting Antibiotics in Hatcheries

Federal law prohibits the use of antibiotics in organic farming, with one exception: chickens until the second day of life can be given antibiotics. We believe the U.S. Department of Agriculture should prohibit the use of all antibiotics in organic production, including day-old chicks, and we're working to make this happen.

Consumer Survey

What Consumers Think

According to our 2015 survey, 60% of consumers think that the organic label means antibiotics were never used. An even greater percentage think that the organic label should mean this: 72% responded that antibiotics should never be used, and 79% responded that antibiotics should only be used to treat sick animals.

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Taking Action

Our Advocacy Work on Antibiotics in Organics

We wrote to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in January 2014 requesting that the agency prohibit administering antibiotics to chicks that will be raised as "organic."  In June 2015, we wrote a detailed letter to the Secretary of Agriculture to request that the agency take action. The Secretary of Agriculture responded in August 2015 that the agency will request a recommendation on this issue from the National Organic Standards Board.

Know Your Labels

What You Can Do

When buying poultry, look for the "USDA Organic" seal along with a "raised without antibiotics" claim. Producers making a "raised without antibiotics" or similar claim are prohibited from using antibiotics at any stage of life, including day-old chicks.

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Consumers Union Ban

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Call for Complete Ban

Know your Labels

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Consumer Reports

Food Safety and Sustainability

Know Your Labels

Don't fall for menu labeling traps. Make sure you know what the terms mean

The organic claim on wine can be tricky! 100% Organic, Organic, and made with Organic Grapes all have different official meanings.

Organic Watchdog

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Consumer Reports

Food Safety and Sustainability

Organic Watchdog

Antibiotic use in organic chicken hatcheries

The Secretary of Agriculture responded to our request to start the process of prohibiting antibiotics in organic chicken hatcheries. Currently, chickens that will be raised and sold as “organic” can be given antibiotics until the second day of life.

Misleading Food Labels

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Consumer Reports

Food Safety and Sustainability

December 2015

Tell FDA—Fix the “Natural” Label

In any grocery store aisle, you’re likely to see foods with labels like “natural” or “naturally raised.” According to a national phone survey by Consumer Reports’ Survey Research Center, almost 60 percent of consumers look for the natural label when they shop. Many consumers expect food labeled “natural” is similar to organic food: