Although Tyson Foods has been selling their meat products under the antibiotic-free label, it turns out that their claim is in fact not true. It turns out that Tyson has been injecting antibiotics into unhatched chicks, and the USDA is not too happy about it. However, Tyson feels that their practice is alright, and they are actually suing the USDA in order to keep their antibiotic-free label.
According to Natural News, this is not the first time Tyson has had issues with the USDA for not keeping their antibiotic-free promise:
After Tyson began labeling its chicken antibiotic-free, the USDA warned the company that such labels were not truthful, because Tyson regularly treats its birds’ feed with bacteria-killing ionophores. Tyson argued that ionophores are antimicrobials rather than antibiotics, but the USDA reiterated its policy that “ionophores are antibiotics.”
People have the right to know what they are putting into their bodies, and the false claims made by Tyson and other food (including but not limited to meat) companies only serve to frustrate and confuse consumers. For example, the “Natural” label on a product is practically meaningless. There are some strong requirements for selected foods, such as certified organic products, but the labels do not yet go far enough. We need strict guidelines that let the customer know exactly what they are getting with a product, such as labels that explicitly explain what “cage-free” and “free range” mean.