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• The Seattle Times reports that “Costco, in the midst of developing its own poultry processing plant to go with an already substantial company-owned beef supply operation, has set out new standards and monitoring requirements for antibiotic use in animal agriculture, making it one of the largest food retailers to take on the issue … Costco’s move, cheered by an environmental group that drafted a shareholder proposal urging the Issaquah-based warehouse club retailer in this direction, comes as meat producers, following Food and Drug Administration guidelines, are adjusting their practices to limit antibiotic use to when it’s most needed.”

According to its website, “Costco’s policy limits use of antibiotics to ‘therapeutic use,’ meaning ‘the prevention, control, and treatment of disease and not, for example, for purposes of growth promotion or feed efficiency.’ That had been a common practice in the past. It also requires antibiotic use to be under supervision of a veterinarian.

“The company’s standards – which will become ‘mandatory and monitored’ no later than December 2020 – hew closely to FDA’s guidelines released in 2012. Despite those guidelines being nonbinding, they’re becoming typical practice for much of the beef industry as producers confront the problem of antimicrobial resistance, said Dr. Andy Allen, a veterinarian at Washington State University.”
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