Tyson Foods, the largest processor of meat and poultry in the United States, announced today that it would significantly curtail the use of antibiotics in its U.S. meat chickens by the end of September 2017. Specifically, it will eliminate all those antibiotics which are medically important to humans.
Sasha Stashwick at the Natural Resources Defense Council framed the news this way: “I’m going to call it and say we’ve now hit the tipping point for getting the chicken industry off antibiotics.”
Tyson had previously stopped using antibiotics in its hatcheries, and says that it has reduced its use of medically important antibiotics by 80 percent since 2011. Other companies have already cut back: Perdue cut 95 percent of human antibiotics, Fieldale Farms has been antibiotic-free since 2011, and Pilgrims is eliminating antibiotics from 25 percent of its flock.
There is a big caveat here: The elimination of antibiotics has mostly been limited to chicken flocks…
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