Brianna's policy paper

We at Poseidon Proteins understand that we have a responsibility to our customers to provide an outstanding, safe product. This is the reason why we have decided to no longer put antibiotic growth promoters in our cattle feed. We have been reviewing recent studies and have concluded that feeding cattle antibiotic growth promoters poses a significant threat to farmers, their families and people buying their products.
The main reason antibiotics are used as growth promoters is because the livestock gain 4-5% more weight than livestock who are not on growth promoters (White 996). Already there are more than 150 antibiotics available and with antibiotic resistance on the rise, the health care industry is beginning to panic (Khachatourians 1129). Recent studies have shown that antibiotic resistance is beginning to cause problems in humans. The high usage of antibiotics as growth promoters in animals often causes bacteria to develop a resistance to those antibiotics and pass that resistance on to other types of bacteria (Gilchrist et al. 314). In industrial conditions if one animal begins to show signs of an infection, all of the animals get antibiotics. The antibiotics are usually administered through the water therefore causing some livestock to only get a small amount, promoting resistance (Shea 862). This causes concern as well about the bacteria in water becoming resistant to the antibiotics as well.
In the United States alone, 11.2 million kilograms of antibiotics are used as growth promoters, compared to only 1.4 million kilograms used to treat human infections (Gilchrist et al. 313). This amount is unacceptable and Poseidon Proteins is committed to doing our part to lower that number. Some companies, including Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, and Foster Farms, have taken the first step in promoting the correct use of antibiotics by no longer giving antibiotics to healthy birds (Schmidt 398).
We believe it is the responsibility of all people to understand how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics and the health consequences that follow. That is why we will also be requiring all employees, current and future, to take a course to ensure their thorough knowledge of antibiotic resistance.

First, all feed that currently contains antibiotic growth promoters will be destroyed and will be replaced by new, all-natural feed. This new feed will only contain natural ingredients and will contain vitamins feed animals need to develop healthy immune systems. This will help them fight unwanted bacteria and prevent the development of resistance.
Secondly, to promote the education of our employees and the general public in Portland, we are working with the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology department at Oregon Health and Science University to set up a free class. The class will only be two hours in length and will be offered beginning 13 October 2008 through 7 November 2008, including weekends, at 5:00 pm at the Center for Health and Healing (directions are available on our website), child care will be provided for anyone who requires it.

Some people may argue that the evidence available is not sufficient enough to make this policy. However, at Poseidon Proteins we believe that the evidence that growth promoters contribute in any amount to antibacterial resistance is very important. Antibacterial resistance is a serious health risk to everyone and we know that if we wait for the evidence to get stronger, our efforts will be too late. If the irresponsible use of antibiotics does not end soon, we will lose the progress health care has made since Fleming first discovered penicillin all those years ago.


Gilchrist, Mary J, et al. “The Potential Role of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in Infectious Disease Epidemics and Antibiotic Resistance.” Environmental Health Perspectives 115.2 (Feb. 2007): 313-316. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. 4 Oct. 2008 <>.

Khachatounans, George G. “Agricultural Use of Antibiotics and the Evolution and Transfer of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.” Canadian Medical Association Journal 159.9 (Nov. 1998): 1129-1137. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. 4 Oct. 2008 <>.

Schmidt, Charles W. “Antibiotic Resistance in Livestock: More at Stake than Steak.” Environmental Health Perspectives 110.7 (July 2002): 396-402. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. 4 Oct. 2008 <>.

Shea, Katherine M. “Nontherapeutic Use of Antimicrobial Agents in Animal Agriculture: Implications for Pediatrics.” Pediatrics 114.3 (Sept. 2004): 862-868. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. 4 Oct. 2008 <>.

White, Wolfgang. “Medical Consequences of Antibiotic Use in Agriculture.” Science 279.5353 (Feb. 1998): 996-997. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. 4 Oct. 2008 <>.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License