A new poll just released by Consumer Reports shows that a majority of Americans want to be able to purchase beef at the grocery store that was raised without the addition of antibiotics.
And those same people say they'd be willing to pay a premium price to get meat raised without such drugs.
Getting from meat on the hoof to eventually beef under cellophane is a complicated process for beef producers these days. Now throw in to the mix the debate of antibiotic use with cattle. For the most part, a very small percentage of beef is ever treated with antibiotics, and there there's a whitdrawl period that must be followed before that beef can go to market, according to Dr. Carter King, DVM.
"A small percentage of all cattle get sick and at some point they also have a hugh population of the animals that never receive any anti-microbials and that beef is already in the supermarkets, it's not just marked that way."
The poll shows that 86 percent of consumers indicate they want beef raised with no antibiotics, while 72 percent are concerned about superbugs and drugs being overused.
For meat processors like Melvin Edes, he knows that medicine is only used on sick animals and he has no fears about selling panhandle beef.
"Everyone thinks everything is full of antibiotics and it's not. There is a withdraw period and healthy cattle don't need it."We got the best beef in the world, right here in the panhandle of Texas, I guarantee it, " said Edes.
Dr. King says he understands people's concerns, but believes they're unfounded because of the rules in place to protect the public.
"The regulations that we go through at all levels of the production segment as well as government regulations at harvest, I think we have the safest food supply in the world.