Statements and Responses
Antibiotics Position Statement
Through more than a decade of advancements in animal husbandry and the acquisitions of Coleman Natural Foods and Niman Ranch, we found we can consistently raise healthy animals without relying on the routine use of any antibiotics, and with no compromise in food safety.
We recognize that consumers, the general public and health care professionals have a wide range of concerns over the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture. As such, we believe that the “No Antibiotics Ever” claim is the only one that provides consumers transparency and the assurance that the meat they are purchasing is from an animal that never received any antibiotics, of any kind, at any point in its life.
We take pride in knowing that our advancements in raising animals without antibiotics are transforming the retail marketplace and providing foodservice and retail customers the confidence of a sustainable supply of No Antibiotics Ever chicken, turkey and pork. In 2014, we became the first major company to eliminate the routine use of human antibiotics. While that milestone was followed by promises from other poultry companies and some of their customers to reduce antibiotic use, we furthered our leadership by committing to move away from all antibiotics. In 2016, we completed the process of removing the routine use of any antibiotics – those jointly used in human and animal medicine and those only used administered to animals – from our chicken production.
While we are striving toward 100% No Antibiotics Ever in our all production, we realize that, even with the best animal husbandry, a small percentage of animals will require antibiotics. Our emphasis is on prevention, but we will not withhold treatment when a veterinarian determines that an antibiotic is required. In those rare cases – which average five percent of our No Antibiotics Ever production – one of our veterinarians will prescribe a targeted treatment, typically for three days or less. Treated animals are removed from the No Antibiotics Ever program and sold through other channels; Federally mandated withdrawal periods ensure all meat is free of antibiotic residue as defined by the USDA.
At no point do we add antibiotics to the feed, use antibiotics for growth promotion or substitute antibiotics for responsible animal husbandry.