August 16, 2016


US poultry firm raises 'myth' of antibiotic-free chicken




Here is one poultry raiser that goes against the grain as it says it will continue to raise its chickens with the use of antibiotics for as long as "scientific research indicates that antibiotics are safe and healthy'.


US-based Sanderson Farms Inc. claimed that claims of some in the industry that only their "chicken is raised cage free and is free of antibiotics and added hormones" were misleading.


"The fact is that FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulations require all chicken made available for purchase be free of antibiotic residues and the use of added hormones has been illegal since the 1950s", said Joe F. Sanderson Jr., CEO and chair of the board for Sanderson Farms.


"As long as scientific research indicates that antibiotics are safe and healthy, we'll continue to make the right decision when it comes to how we raise our chickens for our customers", Sanderson added.


Sanderson Farms said its position on the responsible use of antibiotics in food-producing animals "is supported by experts across the industry….This includes a full range of specially trained veterinary scientists and nutritionists that continuously research and study the best practices for maintaining the best health and well-being of flocks raised for food".


Dr. Phil Stayer, corporate veterinarian for Sanderson Farms, said, "The truth is, we have not seen any credible scientific research to support the idea that the judicious use of antibiotics in chicken contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance in humans".


US senators Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins have filed a bill seeking to combat the overuse of medically important antibiotics in animals, as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had said antibiotic resistance was one of the most pressing health threats facing the world.


Under the proposed Prevention of Antibiotic Resistance Act of 2015, the FDA would be required to withdraw its approval of medically important antibiotics used for disease prevention or control that are at high risk of abuse, unless the producer of the drug can demonstrate that its use in agriculture does not pose a risk to human health.

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