Applegate CEO: FDA Enabling Meat Industry’s Drug Addiction

Stephen McDonnell, founder and CEO of Applegate, applauded the Natural Resources Defense Council's report that the FDA ignored its own safety standards in allowing "high risk" antibiotics to remain on the market as additives in farm-animal feed and water.

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (PRNewswire) — Stephen McDonnell, founder and CEO of Applegate applauded the Natural Resources Defense Council for exposing that the Food and Drug Administration ignored its own safety standards in allowing "high risk" antibiotics to remain on the market as additives in farm animal feed and water.

"The NRDC'S report 'Playing Chicken with Antibiotics' reveals a disturbing image of a meat industry addicted to drugs and a government agency enabling that addiction by looking the other way in the face of a mounting problem," said McDonnell.  "Given the report's account of the FDA continuing to allow the use of drugs in animal feed despite posing a 'high risk' to human health, how can we have confidence in the agency's new voluntary guidelines?"

The non-binding FDA guidance announced in December 2013 states that antibiotics should be used only when necessary to keep animals healthy and only under the supervision of a veterinarian. Additionally, the agency is requesting cooperation from drug manufacturers to remove non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics (such as growth promotion) from drug labels. Cooperation with the new recommendations is strictly voluntary, and the pharmaceutical and animal agriculture industries have three years to work within the voluntary measures before the FDA evaluates the efficacy of the plan.

"I'm thankful to the NRDC for continuing to shine a light on this issue, and I urge consumers to learn more and get involved," said McDonnell. "This isn't an animal health issue any more, it's a human health crisis."

Applegate is committed to educating the public about the dangers of antibiotic overuse in animal agriculture and its effects on the environment and human health. Applegate, in partnership with STOP Foodborne Illness, launched Citizens Against Superbugs in December 2011. McDonnell also is supporting a documentary about the topic, "Resistance."

About Applegate
For more than 25 years, Applegate has been producing high-quality natural and organic hot dogs, bacon, sausages, deli meats, cheese and frozen products.  Natural can mean many things, but when Applegate says their products are natural, consumers are guaranteed that the meat inside is:

  • Raised without antibiotics or hormones
  • From animals fed a vegetarian or 100% grass diet and treated with humane animal standards
  • Free of added chemical nitrites, nitrates or phosphates
  • Free of artificial ingredients or preservatives

For more information about our products, visit

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