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Tests Show Presence of Various Banned Drugs in Consumer Meat Products

October 27, 2018

UNITED STATES – October 22, 2018 ( According to an online news report from, an investigation by Consumer Reports revealed the presence of various banned drugs, including hallucinogens, in consumer meat products.*

From 2015 to 2016, the federal government collected data on nearly 6,000 samples of beef, poultry, and pork sold in the United States. Consumer Reports analyzed the data, which showed trace amounts of numerous drugs, including antibiotics, antidepressants, and hallucinogens, inside the meat samples. Drugs like Chloramphenicol (an antibiotic linked to severe anemia) and Ketamine (a hallucinogenic substance) showed up in the meat samples, yet these are banned or highly restricted drugs in the U.S. 

“What was explosive is immediately seeing these drugs which were never approved for use in food animals,” said Consumer Reports Senior Scientist Michael Hansen. “Because they’re highly hazardous … still showing up in the food supply, it was stunning.”

Neither the U.S. Department of Agriculture nor the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has an answer for how the drugs found their way into the meat products, but researchers say the federal government needs to look harder. 

“They should have found out why these things are showing up in dozens and dozens of samples of meat and poultry,” said Consumer Reports Food and Policy Expert Jean Halloran. “It can’t just be an accident.” 

Some farmers, like the owner of Georgia’s White Oaks Pastures, Will Harris, say the Consumer Reports findings are indicative of a problem in the agriculture industry that starts with individual farmers. 

“I’m not accusing anybody of anything, but you told me that these prohibited drugs have been found in samples of meat,” Harris said. “Then I guess that would be pretty proof positive that somebody somewhere wasn’t doing what they’re supposed to do.” 

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