Living on Earth - Antibiotic use in poultry

"Back in the 1950's, farmers found that by adding small doses of antibiotics to chicken feed, the birds would grow faster and plumper. And with the rise of factory farms, the antibiotics help prevent disease.

But science now shows that the widespread use of these drugs in animal feed can make them far less effective for humans, as germs develop resistance. Four of the country's top poultry producers recently announced that they will no longer use antibiotics unless birds are ill or directly threatened with illness.

Under pressure from major buyers, including McDonalds, the chicken business had already started reducing the use of drugs with Tyson Foods, the largest producer, recently cutting antibiotic use by more than 90 percent"


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