Responding to an outpouring of consumer demand, one of the largest chicken producers in the country has announced that most of its flocks are now antibiotic-free, and that no longer will its chickens be needlessly fed antibiotics for growing purposes unless they're actually sick -- and even in these cases, antibiotic use will be minimal.
Maryland-based Perdue Farms says that only about five percent of its flocks receive these drugs at any given time, which means the other 95 percent will never see an antibiotic before making their way onto consumers' dinner plates. This means that the only production areas that Perdue will now need address is the company's use of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in its chicken feed, and the use of inhumane hen houses in which many chickens never even see the light of day.
According to NPR, Perdue has been a consistent leader in forging the way towards a safer and more humane production process for commercial chicken. In 2007, long before many other companies were even thinking about the issue, Perdue had begun removing antibiotics from its feed. By 2014, Perdue had completely eliminated the drugs from all of its hatcheries.
Last year, Perdue announced that more than half of its chickens were receiving no antibiotics at all, and just in the past few weeks, the company was proud to announce that 95 percent of its flocks are now officially antibiotic-free. It's a win-win situation for both the company, which can now accurately label most of its chicken products as having "no antibiotics ever," and consumers, who will no longer have to worry about this food system scourge.
"Our consumers have already told us they want chicken raised without antibiotics," Jim Perdue, chairman of Perdue Farms, said in a recent statement.
Mississippi-based Sanderson Farms throws hissy fit over Perdue announcement; says antibiotic-laden chicken is no different from natural chicken
Following in Perdue's lead, other major chicken producers like Tyson Foods and Foster Farms have promised to eliminate or reduce antibiotics from their flocks as well, not only as a way to meet consumer demand but also to help stem the tide of antibiotic-resistance, a constant and growing threat to public health.
The use of antibiotics as a way to make poultry and cattle fatter, and to get them to market more quickly, is a product of corporate greed that's done a real number on the safety of the food supply. There's no benefit to consumers from using antibiotics for this purpose, and it's now widely' target='_blank'>http://science.naturalnews.com/pubmed/264696... confirmed in the scientific literature that antibiotics for medicinal purposes are losing their efficacy as a consequence.
Nevertheless, not every chicken producer is happy with the growing no-antibiotics trend. Mississippi-based Sanderson Farms, for instance, is actually spending thousands of dollars on advertisements ridiculing the likes of http://www.naturalnews.com/Perdue.html>Perdu... Farms for supposedly misleading the public as to the advantages of consuming antibiotic-free chicken.
A publicist representing the company wrote in an email to NPR that Sanderson Farms "can no longer sit idle" while its competitors "dupe consumers into believing one product is healthier than another or bait them into paying more money for the same product through the use of misleading labels and questionable marketing practices."
This Sanderson Farms publicist and the company she represents apparently missed the memo that http://www.naturalnews.com/antibiotic.html>a... overuse in livestock and poultry is a detriment to public health. It's the leading cause of antibiotic resistance and the emergence of deadly "superbugs" like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and emerging research suggests that it may also be responsible for the epidemic of gut disorders that now afflicts tens of millions of people worldwide.