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USDA To Publish Monthly Data On Cage-Free Egg Market

The USDA has begun to issue a monthly report providing data on the cage-free egg market, including wholesale and retail prices, production estimates, flock size estimates for both organic and conventional cage-free eggs. Wholesale price data includes contract-traded and spot market egg sales. Retail price information covers large and extra-large cage-free eggs gleaned from the advertising materials of 29,000 U.S. grocers. Cage-free organic and conventional egg production data are based on flock size estimates coupled with egg laying rates. In related news, IKEA restaurants and foodservice provider Compass Group have committed to cage-free eggs, along with Six Flags Entertainment’s amusement parks by 2026.

"USDA Introduces New Report Covering the Cage-free Egg Market", News release, USDA, October 21, 2016

Perdue Confirms It No Longer Raises Chickens Without Use Of Antibiotics

Chicken supplier Perdue Farms says it has ended the routine use of antibiotics at all of its facilities, a process it began in 2007. It still uses antibiotics when chickens get sick, something that happens to about five percent of its flocks each year. Other poultry producers have promised to reduce antibiotics use, but Perdue has taken it a step further. It has eliminated not only human antibiotics, but also a class of antibiotics known as ionophores, which are toxic to humans. Other poultry companies that have committed to a no-antibiotics program include Tyson Foods, Foster Farms and Pilgrim's Pride. However, one producer, Sanderson Farms, has mocked the term "raised without antibiotics" as a worthless marketing gimmick.

"Perdue Goes (Almost) Antibiotic-Free", NPR, October 07, 2016

Progresso Soup Is Taking Clean-Label Seriously

The Progresso soup brand of General Mills announced that all of the chicken breast meat used in its 36 chicken soup varieties is free of antibiotics and hormones. In addition, the soups contain no artificial flavors and 60 percent of them contain no artificial colors. The company hopes to eliminate all artificial colors within three years.  The soup brand has reduced sodium levels in more than 40 soup varieties, added seven soups to its certified Gluten Free product line and is increasing its vegetarian soup options.

"Progresso Completes Move To Antibiotic And Hormone Free Chicken Breasts In All Chicken Soup Varieties", News release, Progresso, September 26, 2016

Widespread Contamination Found In Baby Food Products

A new nonprofit watchdog organization has compiled a list of baby and toddler foods that are contaminated by harmful ingredients. The Clean Label Project’s list highlights the products that meet or exceed standards established by its medical advisors based on independent lab analyses. Eighty-one percent of the 628 tested products failed to meet the standards. Baby foods were tested for toxic and heavy metals – e.g., arsenic, lead, cadmium – pesticides, bisphenol A (BPA), antibiotics, food coloring and flavors, and other unwanted substances that do not appear on ingredient labels. Eighty percent of infant formulas and 60 percent of meat and dairy baby food jars contained detectable antibiotic residues. One-third of jars and meals... More

"Clean Label Project reveals baby food brands with least contaminants", News release, Clean Label Project, September 20, 2016

Most Of The Top 25 Fast-Food Chains Flunk The Antibiotics Use Test

The Natural Resources Defense Council and other consumer advocates have flunked 17 of the top 25 fast food chains in the U.S. on the basis of antibiotics use in their menu items. Big name eateries that earned the F grade because of a lack of a strong policy on antibiotics use include KFC, Burger King, Starbucks, IHOP, and Little Caesars. The stars of the class, earning A’s, were Chipotle and Panera Bread. Subway and Chick-fil-A earned a B, while McDonald’s snagged a C+. The FDA discourages producers from using antibiotics routinely in feed to promote growth, but does not prohibit the practice. It also supports routine use in meat and poultry production for disease prevention. The ratings appear in NRDC’s “Chain Reaction” report.

"Chipotle, Panera lauded over antibiotics rules; many chains fail", San Francisco Gate, September 20, 2016

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