PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Superbugs are on the rise.
Superbugs are bacteria that are resistant to one or more antibiotics, which kills thousands of people a year.
Consumer Reports said the routine feeding of antibiotics to the animals we eat is a contributing factor.
They also just released a survey finds a majority of people want meat in their supermarket that’s raised without antibiotics.
It’s estimated that 80 percent of the antibiotics used in this country are given to animals to help them grow faster and to prevent disease in unsanitary conditions.
This is contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, according to Consumer Reports’ Jean Halloran.
“It may be very difficult to find an antibiotic that will help you get well. It may even be impossible,” Halloran said.
The problem is widespread.
When Consumer Reports last tested chicken, two-thirds of the samples had harmful bacteria, and more than half of these bugs were resistant to antibiotics.
You can find meat that’s been raised without antibiotics.
In fact, at Whole Foods that’s the only kind of meat for sale.
At other stores, it can be much harder to figure out what you’re getting.
“We found a few labels that are misleading and not even approved by the government,” Halloran said.
“Antibiotic Free” is one example of a misleading label. Another one is “natural,” while government-approved, has nothing to do with antibiotics.
More helpful labels are ones like “No Antibiotics Administered” and “No Antibiotics Ever.”
However, even better are labels that also say “USDA Process Verified.”
“This means the government has gone out and checked up on the processor to make sure they’re doing what they claim,” Halloran said.
“Organic” is another sure bet for shoppers.
All organic meat is raised without antibiotics.
Looking for these labels is the best way to ensure that the meat you’re buying has no antibiotics.
Consumer Reports found that meat raised without antibiotics doesn’t necessarily cost a lot more than regular meat.
Shoppers found it at very reasonable prices in several stores.