WASHINGTON – The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) strongly opposed the New York Times’ reporting on antibiotic use on hog farms. The group claimed that the newspaper misrepresented the pork industry and twisted comments “to paint an essentially pre-determined narrative without regard for the truth.”
The article is centered around a 2015 Salmonella outbreak in Washington State from tainted pork that led to 192 cases and 30 hospitalizations according to the CDC. During this time Kapowsin Meats in Graham, Washington, voluntarily suspended operations and recalled 523,380 lbs. of pork over concerns that products may be contaminated with Salmonella I.
“The US pork industry prides itself on having strict on-farm biosecurity protocols, demonstrated progress in responsible antibiotics use and a strong food safety record,” NPPC said in its statement. “Excellent animal care is imperative to produce healthy food for consumers. It’s a shame the reporter presented none of this in the story. The US pork industry takes animal care and food safety very seriously and has demonstrated its commitment to responsible antibiotic use. Salmonella and other food safety cases are extremely rare.”
The industry group detailed what the New York Times left out of its article, including responsible use of antibiotics and on-farm testing.
NPPC continued: “US pork producers supports and complies with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations on the use of medically important antibiotics only to treat sick animals or those at risk of becoming sick and with veterinary oversight.”
NPPC also stated the reporter told them that he lost notes reflecting pork industry input for the story from interviews conducted around a year ago.