In recent days, a Consumer Reports investigation indicating that potentially dangerous and banned substances have made their way into our meat supply has been called into question by industry organizations and the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS). We took a hard look into the presence of drugs, including chloramphenicol, an antibiotic linked to potentially deadly anemia; phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory deemed too risky for human use; and ketamine, a hallucinogenic party drug and experimental antidepressant.
What we found is deeply worrisome and is why CR believes greater consideration is warranted on behalf of all consumers.
As a scientist and former FSIS official, I intimately understand how the agency collects, tests, and measures contaminants in food. When we looked at testing data from the FSIS, both an initial and then revised set, serious concerns came to light about the process, the standards applied, and the findings themselves.