DENVER (CBS4) – The stores aren’t even open yet in Colorado, yet an advocacy group is calling on Trader Joe’s to stop selling meat raised on antibiotics.
Three locations are set to open this Friday. One will open on 28th Street in Boulder, one near University Boulevard and Orchard Road in Greenwood Village, and another at 8th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard in Denver.
“They have the power to change the marketplace,” Tim Marvin with Consumer Union said.
Consumer Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, says Trader Joe’s holds the key to preventing what they call a public health crisis.
“The overuse of antibiotics on healthy livestock is making the drugs less effective for people,” Marvin said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization echoe the group’s stance on the issue. Both recommend antibiotics not be used for that purpose.
“We think that they could be a really big influence on this,” Marvin said.
The group is specifically targeting Trader Joe’s because it buys 80 percent of its product from private labels.
“That means that they have a unique position to have leverage over the meat suppliers,” Marvin said.
Trader Joe’s told CBS4 right now they offer both antibiotic free and conventionally grown meat products.
“We work hard to offer products we think fit our customers’ needs … we go to great lengths to make these items as consistently available as possible,” the company said in a statement.
“But offering choice isn’t enough,” Marvin said.
Consumer Union calls Trader Joe’s a leader in offering healthy food options but says they could pave the way for more and less expensive organic options.
“We think that the amount of antibiotic free supply overall will go up and that will drive the price down,” Marvin said.