December 17, 2018

Costco tightens standards for antibiotics use by meat producers

Costco, the warehouse retailer, took steps to control use of medically important antibiotics, the overuse of which in animal agriculture presents a risk to human health as bacteria become resistant to the drugs. The move comes as Costco is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to control more of its poultry supply chain.

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.

Antibiotics important to human health have been overused in meat production, contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which the World Health Organization warns could cause 10 million deaths a year by 2050.

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