Thanks to the major snowstorms in the nation’s capital last month - National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Director of Legislative Affairs Colin Woodall says the stories Katie Couric did on the CBS Evening News regarding antibiotic use have not had much of an impact.
Instead - Woodall says the livestock industry has had some success offsetting negative comments with Beef 101 briefings.
When we bring in experts to talk to members of congress and their staff about this issue. We had multi-livestock briefing a couple of weeks ago where we brought in the pork producers, diary, chickens and the NCBA, and had standing room only crowds on both the House and Senate side, and answered a lot of good questions. And I think we are really, slowly but surely trying to taking the reins back on this issue.
So, we’re hopeful given with everything we’re doing on the education side and everything we’ve been able to do to keep it off the Food Safety Bill, keeping off health care, that maybe we can regain some ground on this antibiotics issue.
Still - Woodall says there’s ongoing concern because House Rules Committee Chair Louise Slaughter is passionate about this issue. Woodall says NCBA and other groups are responding with the facts...
Fact of the matter is that her facts aren’t right. And we’ve been able to counter that lack of facts with our facts and that’s helped us. And some of the things you need to know, and your listeners need to know and consumers need to know is that beef does not have antibiotics in it. It’s illegal for that to happen, and we’ve found that a lot of people don’t understand that.
And on top of that, all the antibiotics we use in the livestock industry go through a more rigorous approval process than human antibiotics do. So, there’s a lot of things our there that are making sure we protect our beef supply but at the same time having the tools available to keep our animals healthy.
In case you’re wondering what the Washington D.C. snowstorm had to do with the CBS Evening News - Woodall explained the series was preempted by storm coverage on the local stations.