Contact: Michael Goldberg, michael@directactioneverywhere.com, (707) 287-0081

Residue Of Prohibited Antibiotic Reported In Diestel Turkey – USDA

Chemical Analyses Indicates Multiple Antibiotics In Diestel Turkey Meat

November 13, 2017, Berkeley, CA – The residue of a FDA-prohibited antibiotic has appeared in tests done by the USDA on Diestel Turkey Ranch birds. Diestel turkeys are sold at premium prices at Whole Foods and other “natural” food stores, and marketed as “antibiotic free.”

That FDA-prohibited drug, Chloramphenicol, can have “severe toxic effects in humans including bone marrow suppression or aplastic anemia in susceptible individuals,” according to the USDA.

Through advertising and other marketing, customers have been led to believe that Diestel turkeys are humanely raised outdoors on a bucolic family farm. The company states on its website that their turkeys are “never given hormones, antibiotics or growth stimulants.” But according to an amended complaint filed in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, the USDA reports “residues of antibiotics important for human use, veterinary antibiotics, a hormone and other pharmaceuticals” in Diestel turkeys in 2015 and 2016. The amended complaint was filed on behalf of an individual consumer and the animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) against Diestel Turkey Ranch on November 13, 2017.

“Consumers are being misled by Diestel,” said DxE co-founder Wayne Hsiung. “They think high-priced Diestel turkey is drug free when it actually contains drugs that can be harmful to humans.”

Other drugs that appeared in tests done on Diestel turkeys by the USDA’s National Residue Program include amikacin, hygromycin, ipronidazole, melengestrol acetate, and ketamine, a narcotic that the Drug Enforcement Agency describes as “a dissociative anesthetic that has some hallucinogenic effects.” Ketamine has not been approved by the FDA for use in poultry.

The lawsuit also alleges that Diestel Turkey Ranch has falsely advertised that its turkeys are raised outdoors when, in fact, they are raised in massive industrial sheds. A 2015 DxE investigation reported on in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post revealed appalling conditions at a Diestel facility in Jamestown, California. The lawsuit alleges that Diestel violated California’s False Advertising Law by labeling its turkeys as “free range” and “humane” despite raising them in  “an agro-industrial operation.” The individual consumer and Direct Action Everywhere are represented by the Richman Law Group and Elsner Law & Policy, LLC.

Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) is a network of animal rights activists working to challenge speciesism throughout society.  We use creative protest to challenge the use of animals for food, clothing, experimentation, and entertainment.  Visit Direct Action Everywhere on Facebook and at http://directactioneverywhere.com/.  Follow us on Twitter@DxEverywhere.

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