Friday, October 07, 2016

Perdue Farms says its chickens have no antibiotics

Wall Street Journal photo by Melissa Golden
Perdue Farms says it has eliminated all antibiotics from its chicken supply, making it the first major poultry supplier to comply with a new federal standard, Jacob Bunge reports for The Wall Street Journal. Producers have faced growing pressure from consumer groups that "prompted big restaurant chains, including McDonald’s Corp. and Subway, to unveil plans in recent years to reduce the use of antibiotics in their chicken supplies, following earlier efforts by companies such as Panera Bread Co. and Chick-fil-A Inc."

Fear has grown that "heavy antibiotic use raises the risk that dangerous bacteria could evolve to resist antibiotics that normally kill them, reducing the effectiveness of medicines that for decades have been a key health defense," Bunge writes. "Perdue’s campaign to stop using antibiotics to raise the roughly 13 million chickens the Salisbury, Md., company processes each week follows concerns raised by U.S. and international health officials about the widespread use of antibiotics in both human and animal medicine."

In 2013 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration "called on animal drugmakers to stop permitting the use of antibiotics to speed up animal growth," Bunge writes. Companies agreed to comply by 2017.

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