Tyson Foods recently announced it will produce most of its fresh chicken without antibiotics -- selling it in grocery stores under a "Raised Without Antibiotics" label. As the nation's largest producer of chicken, Tyson is setting an important precedent for protecting public health.
The time has never been better to urge U.S. fast-food companies to follow Tyson's lead and establish strict antibiotic use policies with their meat suppliers.
Currently, an estimated 70 percent of antibiotics and related drugs in the United States are used in the feed and water of healthy animals -- a practice with serious consequences for human health. Bacteria that are constantly exposed to antibiotics develop resistance to these drugs. When humans get sick from resistant bacteria, the antibiotics prescribed are less likely to work.
Urge fast-food companies to stop using meat from animals raised on antibiotics!
Tyson Foods recently announced it will produce most of its fresh chicken without antibiotics, selling it in grocery stores under a "Raised Without Antibiotics" label. Tyson has set an important precedent by protecting the health of their customers. Now is the time for fast-food companies to establish strict policies against non-therapeutic use of antibiotics by their meat suppliers.
Antibiotic resistance is a growing crisis in public health. The miracle drugs that once easily conquered bacterial infections are failing to work at an alarming rate, and scientists have linked this phenomenon to the overuse of important human antibiotics in animal agriculture. It is time for the animal agriculture industry to adopt a more responsible approach to the use of medically important antibiotics in order to slow the rise in antibiotic resistance.
As a large buyer of meat products, your company has a unique ability to sway the practices of your suppliers. Tyson's announcement that it will convert nearly half of its facilities to raising chickens without antibiotics makes clear that reductions in antibiotic use are feasible.
I urge you to demand that your meat suppliers not use medically important antibiotics for animals that are not sick. With your company's insistence, your suppliers will end this dangerous practice.