Recently, we reported on Brad Pitt and Bill Maher’s criticism of Costco for selling eggs from caged hens, and the bulk grocery chain has also been scrutinized for sourcing salmon from Chile, where fishery waters are treated with high levels of antibiotics to treat bacteria. Now, the wholesale corporation has announced that they will cut back on Chilean salmon in favor of Norwegian salmon, which contains fewer antibiotics.
Chilean salmon farmers are known for employing excessive amounts of antibiotics to combat Piscirickettsiosis, also known as SRS. They used 1.2 million pounds of antibiotics in the past year.
Norway, on the other hand, only uses about 2,000 pounds of antibiotics. The country is the largest producer of salmon in the world.
Reuters reports that Costco used to buy 90 percent of its salmon from Chile, but will scale it down to 40 percent. Though Chile uses a lot of antibiotics, officials say that their salmon is safe to consume and has been approved by U.S. food and drug regulators.
Heavy use of antibiotics can bring about drug-resistant superbugs that endanger human health. Jeff Lyons, who oversees fresh foods at Costco, told Reuters: “If I was going to ask you your biggest concern on produce, you might say pesticides. When we ask people in protein, generally it’s going to be hormones or antibiotics.”