Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith has called on supermarkets to take action over antibiotic use in farming
MPs have called for action from supermarkets to reduce antibiotic use in farming.
Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) on veterinary antibiotic use with cross party support from MPs including former Shadow Defra Secretary Kerry McCarthy.
A recent study commissioned by the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics and conducted by the University of Cambridge revealed E.coli bacteria resistant to three highly important antibiotics on UK pig and chicken meat from major supermarkets.
A strain of MRSA was also discovered in British pork in Asda and Sainsbury’s in October.
Mr Goldsmith said: "The recent revelation of multi-drug resistant bacteria in supermarket meat lends a new urgency to the need for supermarkets to tackle antibiotic overuse in their supply chains.
"The routine preventative mass medication of animals should have no place in the supply chain of any responsible retailer."
The EDM has called on UK supermarkets to ban routine preventative mass within their supply chains and to dramatically curb use of critically important antibiotics (CIA) for humans.
In response to the findings, the Food Standards Agency pledged to work with supermarkets to cut antibiotic use on farms.
Waitrose updated its antibiotic use policy in September and said it has ’pledged to end the use of all critically important antibiotics (CIAs) as soon as possible’.
There have also been rumours Morrisons is considering launching an antibiotic free range after the retailer trademarked ’Morrisons raised without antibiotics’.
Emma Rose from the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics said thousands of UK citizens have called for supermarkets to ban the routine use of antibiotics for mass medication of livestock.
"Now, MPs are expressing their concern around the lack of adequate supply chain policies on antibiotic-use," she said.
"Supermarkets must commit to tackling this issue, and support farmers to reduce and improve veterinary prescribing."