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Tyson Announces Removal of Antibiotics From its Chicken Hatcheries

Tyson Foods has announced that, as of Oct. 1, it no longer uses antibiotics in its 35 chicken hatcheries.

“Since the antibiotic typically used in hatcheries is important to human health, this is a significant first step toward our goal of reducing the use of antibiotics that are also used in human medicine,” the company stated.

Last month, Perdue announced that it made the same transition.

Tyson still uses antibiotics in chicken feed “when prescribed by a veterinarian to treat or prevent disease” and said that the “vast majority of the antibiotics” they use aren’t used in humans.

The company also said that it’s researching “alternative treatments and protocols that will eventually eliminate the application of any antibiotics used in human medicine from poultry feed.”

Tyson offers a completely antibiotic-free chicken under its NatureRaised Farms brand.

Steven Roach, senior analyst for Keep Antibiotics Working, said that the coalition is pleased about the change, but that there’s still room for improvement.

“Tyson’s position on using human class drugs for disease prevention is something we oppose and seems to be a step backward for Tyson. So kudos on the hatchery change, but they could do more on antibiotics in their chicken feed,” he said.

© Food Safety News
  • Pat

    This very real progress seems to refute the notion of those who insist the private sector is unresponsive, worse that it operates with malicious intent. No need for meddling regulations and capricious bans. Just vote with your dollars and let the market do its work. Crazy foodies will have to find another venue for their fanaticism. Maybe regroup and fall back to the starting point; griping about toys at Burger King and attacking Ronald McDonald.

    • Michael Bulger

      What’s amazing is that the problems posed by antibiotics in livestock agriculture have been apparent for decades. The animal drug industry has spent big money sowing doubt among legislators, and big food companies have done a lot to resist any change that threatens their profit margin.

      In a very real sense, Tyson’s action is too late. They should have responded long ago. Hopefully, the industry will continue to adjust their practices in the right direction. However, it’s hard to deny that any of this progress would have come without “foodies” continually pressuring industry.

    • Long time observer

      Unfortunately, ignorance of the overuse of antibiotics is rife in our public. Perhaps some GMO products may be proven safe, those that are not involved in helping plants resist herbicides. It appears that the use of additional herbicides does not increase yield, and increased herbicides are literally leading to human health problems. Can you say autistiDo a search for autism rates in children over the past 20 years.