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From our president: Yo, Joe!

Published: July 2014

The restaurants listed in “America’s Best & Worst Fast Foods,” serve everything from soup to nuts. But at some, one thing that you won’t find is meat raised on antibiotics. As we note, Chipotle, Panera Bread, and a few small chains have moved away from that type of meat. Bravo and bon appétit!

Antibiotic overuse isn’t limited to prescription pads. Eighty percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used on livestock, not to treat sick animals but to speed growth and prevent disease in the crowded, dirty conditions common on factory farms. That adds to the growing problem of antibiotic-­resistant superbugs in humans. At least 23,000 people in the U.S. die each year from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Consumer Reports has taken a strong stand on this issue, and consumers, schools, restaurants, and stores are also recognizing that their decisions have the power to improve the market. A growing number of hospitals are also phasing in meat raised without antibiotics, as they link the food they serve to their goal of improving health.

There has been no such commitment from Trader Joe’s. That’s surprising because the retailer, whose stores and products often rank high in our Ratings, is one of the nation’s most progressive grocers. It is stocking more no-antibiotics meats—good, but not as strong as competitor Whole Foods, which has pledged to sell only meat raised without antibiotics.

It takes more than laws and regulations to change the marketplace; it takes consumers speaking up. More than 650,000 of you have petitioned Trader Joe’s to stop carrying meat raised with antibiotics and to use its influence as a leader in healthy food to make us all safer. To learn more about our campaign, go to

Jim Guest

Editor's Note:

This article also appeared in the August 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine. See archived From Our President articles.

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