Statements and Responses
Antibiotics Position Statement
We recognize concerns about the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture. We believe in a responsible use approach that does not risk the effectiveness of antibiotics in human health, provides healthy growing environments for animals and does not employ drugs for growth promotion. Across our company, 95% of our chickens never receive any human antibiotics, and the remainder may receive them only for a few days when prescribed by a veterinarian. This very limited use of antibiotics is more restrictive than the new Federal Drug Administration Guidelines announced December 2013 and aligns with efforts to reduce the overall use of antibiotics in animal agriculture and the potential spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Trust across all our brands and products
Through a portfolio of brands and products, we offer consumer choices, including no-antibiotics-ever and organic. Consumers can trust that our responsible animal health program ensures a minimal, safe and responsible use of antibiotics regardless of which products they choose.
Chickens raised for Perdue Foods never receive antibiotics for growth promotion, nor do we add human antibiotics to the feed. Chickens not raised for the organic and no-antibiotics-ever program are generally treated to prevent common intestinal illnesses using ionophores. Ionophores are a type of animal-only antibiotic not used in human medicine, and are not associated with antibacterial resistance in human medicine. Chickens marketed as no-antibiotics-ever and organic never receive any antibiotics.
As part of our animal welfare commitment, should animals become ill – including organic and no-antibiotics-ever – they will be treated as medically appropriate. However, if antibiotics are used, those animals are not marketed as no-antibiotics-ever or organic. In those rare cases, federally mandated withdrawal periods ensure products are free of antibiotic-residue as defined by the USDA.