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Tyson ordered to change poultry labels


January 10, 2008
By Canadian Poultry

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Tyson officials said in a statement that they disagree with the decision, but the company will submit modified labels for approval.

Tyson Foods has been told by the USDA that it may no longer use the “raised without antibiotics” label on some of its fresh poultry products. USDA told Tyson it made a mistake when it approved the company’s use of the label earlier this year.
In a letter dated November 6, 2007, the USDA alerted Tyson to the change and gave the company 45 days to change its label or adjust the feed rations it gives its birds. Tyson’s feeding plan lists animal medications known as ionophores, something the USDA has long considered to in the same class as antibiotics. This oversight prompted the USDA to recently change their mind on the original decision to allow Tyson to use the “raised without antibiotics” label back in May.
Tyson officials said in a statement that they disagree with the decision, but the company will submit modified labels for approval. Tyson said it expects no disruption in service.
In a statement Tyson said that “we do not believe ionophores are antibiotics. The FDA is the agency Congress has authorized to regulate animal drugs and it specifically excludes ionophores from the list of animal drugs deemed as antibiotics.”
To view Tyson’s full statement on the USDA’s decision, visit: http://www.tyson.com/Corporate/PressRoom/ViewArticle.aspx?id=2839

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