Consumers Confused About Antibiotics

P. Scott Shearer, Vice President

May 12, 2014

1 Min Read
Consumers Confused About Antibiotics

Consumers are confused about the causes of antibiotic resistance and the use of antibiotics in livestock and poultry production, according to a new survey released by the American Meat Institute (AMI). 

Consumers were asked questions such as, “According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which of the following is the greatest contributing factor to human antibiotic resistance?” Only 41% of the consumers surveyed correctly answered, “health professionals over-prescribing to people.”

Eighteen percent thought use of antibiotics in livestock production was the leading contributor.  Other reasons sighted were antimicrobial hand sanitizers (7%) and drinking water (5%).  Twenty-eight percent were unsure. 

The survey also found confusion regarding antibiotic residues.  Nearly 40% responded that unsafe levels of antibiotics are commonly present in the meat and poultry products found at the grocery store, though government data show that violative antibiotic residues in meat and poultry are virtually non-existent. 

The survey was conducted by Harris Poll in March covering 2,400 adults. 


About the Author(s)

P. Scott Shearer

Vice President, Bockorny Group, Inc.

Scott Shearer is vice president of the Bockorny Group Inc., a leading bipartisan government affairs consulting firm in Washington, D.C. With more than 30 years experience in government and corporate relations in state and national arenas, he is recognized as a leader in agricultural trade issues, having served as co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for U.S.-China Trade and co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for Trade Promotion Authority. Scott was instrumental in the passage of China Permanent Normal Trade Relations and TPA. He is past chairman of the USDA-USTR Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products and was a member of the USAID Food Security Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the Bockorny Group, Scott served as director of national relations for Farmland Industries Inc., as well as USDA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs (1993-96), serving as liaison for the Secretary of Agriculture and the USDA to Congress.

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