National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Forrest Roberts made the following statement in response to action by Tyson in discontinuing the purchase of cattle fed Zilmax:
“Cattlemen and women believe in the right of farmers and ranchers to responsibly use FDA-approved technologies,” Roberts said. “We also believe in Tyson’s right to make individual company decisions that they feel are in the best interest of their business. We do not have all the details regarding the animal welfare concerns cited by Tyson in the letter to their cattle suppliers. However, we take every report of animal welfare issues very seriously.
“We have expended significant resources to address questions about the use of beta-agonists relative to animal welfare concerns. We convened experts across the beef supply chain who have conducted extensive research on beta-agonists and engaged cattle feeding and animal health experts who have many years of experience using these products. We will continue these efforts until we have solid answers to these questions. In the meantime, we believe these products can be used responsibly when managed properly.”