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SF Ordinance To Require Stores To Label Meats Raised With Antibiotics

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Officials in San Francisco are preparing to enforce a new ordinance that will require city stores that sell raw meat and poultry to label and list any antibiotics used to raise the livestock.

But some describe the new ordinance as a recipe for disaster.

San Francisco will be the first city in the nation to impose such a requirement on supermarkets.

"The consumer can make an educated decision when they choose to actually buy," said San Francisco Deputy Health Officer Dr. Naveena Bobba.

Although it was introduced by SF Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, the ordinance is the idea of an environmental group.

"I want to thank the National Resources Defense Council for all of their work in tracking this issue and bringing it to the attention to the city," said Sheehy.

The new ordinance only applies to national chain stores such as Safeway, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Costco, not local butchers.

Guerra Meats has been in business since 1954. It is a premier meat shop that sells both traditional meat and grass-fed, antibiotic-free meat. The new ordinance didn't surprise owner Paul Guerra.

"It didn't surprise me," said Guerra. "It's San Francisco right? We're a very progressive city."

Locally folks seems OK with the additional step, but the Arlington, VA-based Food Marketing Institute thinks it's a bad idea.

"The San Francisco ordinance adds an entirely unnecessary, costly and potentially confusing layer of paperwork to this issue," a statement from the institute. "The retail industry supports FDA's actions to ensure the judicious use of antimicrobials in food animal production."

The new ordinance takes effect in 180 days.

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