USDA Yanks Tyson's Coveted ‘No Antibiotics' Tag

USDA reverses on consumer-friendly label, hurting poultry producer
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2007 6:34 PM CST
A Tyson chicken farm.   (Magnum Photos)
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(Newser) – The USDA has revoked permission for Tyson to label its chicken “raised without antibiotics,” a major blow to a company that has spent tens of millions trumpeting the tag it won in May. The government says it erred in granting the label, because Tyson’s poultry feed contains antimicrobials—which the company maintains aren't antibiotics.

Tyson had proudly proclaimed itself the “first major poultry company” to offer antibiotic-free products—products the Arkansas-based operation says 90% of consumers want, the Journal reports. The USDA has allowed 45 days to remove the label; Tyson's applying to modify its label with an explanation that the antimicrobials can’t create antibiotic resistance in humans.