Tyson Foods, one of the largest producers of poultry in the United States, announced its plan to stop using antibiotics for growing their chickens.
The company said that by 2017 none of its chickens will be treated by human antibiotics.
Tyson Foods, which is based in Arkansas, wants to eliminate the use of antibiotics from its other businesses, including the production of beef and pork.
The company’s decision marks the latest move by the food and livestock industry to reduce the use of antibiotics, which is an important factor for human health, from every meat product.
Health officials are worried that by feeding the live animals with antibiotics could lead to the creation of super-viruses that cannot be destroyed by current antibiotics. This could create a health hazard in the future, according to the experts.
Tyson Foods announced its latest plans on Tuesday morning, aiming to help the company meet McDonald’s deadline that aims to have all its US restaurants stop buying chicken that has been raised with antibiotics.
McDonald’s plans to achieve this over the next couple of years.
However, Tyson Foods, which is one of the main poultry supplier for McDonald’s, said that its recent plans are actually part of larger effort that goes beyond only one customer.
The company said that it’s also in the middle of creating working groups with different independent farmers, veterinarians and company suppliers in order to come up with efficient ideas that will help stop the use of antibiotics.
The antibiotics are used to fight infections in the US pork, beef and turkey supply chains.
According to the company representatives, the working groups will begin their meetings in summer.
While veterinarians have the legal right to use antibiotics to treat the animals, health officials see the routine of feeding antibiotics to healthy animals, like chicken, pigs and cattle, very dangerous for human health.
Companies are using antibiotics to help the animals grow faster and keep them safe from diseases.
Tyson Foods stated that it has already stopped treating its chickens with antibiotics in 35 broiler hatcheries and has reduced the use of human antibiotics by more than 80% in the past 4 years.
Donnie Smith, president of Tyson Foods, said in an official statement that the company has made an important progress by reducing the antibiotics in some of its broilers, but will not stop until all of its broilers will stop using antibiotics.
Image Source: organicauthority