Poultry Producers Leading the Way in Cutting Back Use of Antibiotics

The rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria over the coming years is a cause for concern among those in the health care arena. A big potential cause of the development of such bacteria is the overuse of antibiotics by doctors for their patients. Even if this is curbed, however, there is another source of this problem. Companies that sell meat to consumers use antibiotics in their chickens and other animals to fight disease but mainly to help spur growth, so they can get bigger chickens and make more from each one. Some of these antibiotics that are used for this purpose are also used in humans for treating bacteria caused diseases. There is concern that their use in farm animals for our consumption will cause the rise of bacteria resistant to them that will then find their way to infecting humans. Consumer Ivan Ong stresses the importance of eating quality food.

Poultry producers Perdue and Pilgrim’s Pride had already announced they were no longer using antibiotics that are also used in human medicine in raising their chickens. The big news now is that the largest poultry producer, Tyson Foods, has just announced that they will be following suit. This was prompted by increasing complaints from advocacy groups about this type of use for these antibiotics and also by the fact that McDonald’s had announced they will phase out the use of such chicken. Tyson is their main supplier so this must have factored heavily in their decision. Now we all have to wait for producers of turkey, beef and pork to catch up to this sensible policy.