Researchers Bust Antimicrobial-Resistance Myth


John Maday, Drovers

December 5, 2018


The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.


We know that when a population of bacteria are exposed to an antibiotic, some level of resistance develops over time. So it would seem logical to assume that beef from cattle treated with antibiotics would carry more resistant bacteria than beef from “antibiotic-free” production systems.


Recent research from scientists with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), however, shows similar levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in ground beef raised with and without antibiotics. The report, titled “Similar Levels of Antimicrobial Resistance in U.S. Food Service Ground Beef Products with and without a Raised without Antibiotics Claim,” appeared in the Journal of Food Protection.


Over three months, the researchers collected 370 samples of ground beef from three food-service suppliers. The samples included 191 from conventional production systems and 179 with “raised-without-antibiotics” claims. From those samples, they cultured several strains of bacteria:


more, including link to report