Thursday, February 3, 2011

Perdue speaks out on its use of antibiotics

Frank Perdue founder of Perdue Farms was a Sal...Image via Wikipedia
Perdue Farms founder Frank Perdue.

After my last post, How most chicken and beef are raised, a Perdue spokesman commented on whether the company uses antibiotics to promote growth. Here is Perdue's position statement on antibiotics from its Web site:
"We recognize concerns about the use of antibiotics in animal production, even though the science linking antibiotic use in animal production is still under debate.

"Perdue does not use antibiotics for growth promotion and administers them only when necessary for the health of our birds.

"As a result of our emphasis on providing a healthy environment for our birds, we do not need to rely on the continuous use of antibiotics to keep our birds healthy. However, in keeping with our commitment to poultry welfare and to providing wholesome products, our company's team of veterinarians, who are board-certified by the American College of Poultry Veterinarians, may prescribe antibiotics when medically appropriate. These antibiotics are used in stringent accordance with FDA and USDA guidelines and only under the guidance of one of our veterinarians.

"To treat intestinal illness in chickens, we may also administer ionophores when medically appropriate. Ionophores are a type of antibiotic not used in human medicine and are not linked to concerns over antibiotic resistance in humans. The FDA and USDA have approved this use of ionophores."
The key phrase here is "continuous use of antibiotics."

That's why you don't see an antibiotics-free claim on Perdue packaging. But other producers, including Readington Farms, a brand sold at ShopRite, state explicitly that no antibiotics are used to raise its chickens.
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  1. While it is true that they are better options than buying Perdue poultry, the shear fact that they don't give antibiotics in their chickens every day put them above some conventional chicken producers, who actually does.

    On the other hand, I will agree that buying grassfed/pasture poultry is better, and I most of the time I do (as well as 100% grassfed beef, bison, and lamb), but some times I do purchase perdue chicken products. Yes, pasture is better, but if Perdue is in your budget, go for it.

    On this note, I find the following to be very interesting (according to his sources, very little, if any, residue of hormones/antibiotics are found in conventional grown meats):

    However, grassfed/pasture meats is way better, nutritional wise:

  2. I used to raise free range chickens. I found the time, expense and effort were not worth it. Read on to hear about my experiences with raising free range chickens. I thought I would raise my own chickens in order to provide my family with fresh, drug free meat and eggs. But, wild birds would feed at the same place as my chickens and would occasionally transfer their sicknesses to my chickens which would cause me to call a veterinarian. It's the same cost to treat a chicken as a cat or dog. I discovered it was more economical to give all my chickens a low dose of antibiotics to prevent disease. After all, I gave my children antibiotics when they became sick and it was helpful for them. I could purchase antibiotics that came in the feed that I supplemented my free range chickens with as well as feeding in winter when there is no natural food available for free range chickens. Feed today is about $7.99 for a 50 lb bag. Cheaper I suppose at a feed mill but there isn't one within a fair driving range. I had to consider the gas expense as well. Free range chickens need to be housed at night to keep them from being attacked by coyotes, raccoons, skunks, bobcats, etc. Cleaning the chicken houses is a daily chore of entering the houses and removing the straw with the feces and putting in new straw. The chickens need fresh water each day. In a cold winter environment, keeping the water from freezing is critical. There is also the butchering expense if I don't quite feel up to dealing with all the blood and feathers. When I did it myself, I tried several ways searching for the most humane manner. I found I was never really comfortable and was not able to enjoy my "food". So, after several years of trying to do the "right" thing and raise my own chickens, I gave it up. Companies like Perdue can do a much better job at a much better price and I can totally enjoy my food again. Thanks, Janette W.

  3. If you really want to look up a horror show, read up on how Foster Farms raises their birds. They don't use family farms spread over a large region like Perdue and so many other poultry brands. Instead, they have industrialized farms that have millions of birds at a single location. What this means is that birds of ALL ages are together on the same piece of property, so their inherent risk of disease is exponentially higher. They therefore are forced to administer antibiotics and even cyanide to the birds in continuous, small doses to ensure their health. Just laying the facts out...

  4. any use of antibiotics is harmful and it should be illegal. Don't like it? Too bad! When you're dying of a disease that could have been cured by antibiotics but your body is resistant to them, then maybe you will have thought twice about antibiotics being in our food. The agriculture industry in this country is sickening and appalling. It's a wonder we're all not dead yet. Our children are suffering and it will ultimatly lead to the destruction of the human race.

  5. chickens have been raised safely and in a healthy way for hundreds of years in small family farms throughout Europe and North America without poisons, antibiotics, growth hormones etc. The rooster protects the chickens as does a farm dog.

    1. That time is long past. It's factory farming that maximizes profits and gets chicken to the market as quickly as possible.

  6. Watch the movie "Vegucate" and you will know the true horrors of how all of our meat is raised. I have become a vegetarian after watching it. Aad although what Mr. Sasson may say is true, is it still right to pack chickens together in such a small space that they can't even move? Is it ok to cut off their beaks so they don't peck each other to death? If we are going to factory farm then that is fine. But let's do it humanely and give our chickens more space to live "freely." What is published on the outside is not always true on the inside. It makes me sick! I am tired of the inhumane way these factories treat animals. I won't support them anymore.

    1. Thanks for your comment. The inhumane practices of factory farming are well-concealed by Perdue and other large agribusinesses.

  7. Yeah fda-n-gmo need to go sunlight and rain and organic feed is all we need

  8. Well since some of the naturopaths if not most have put us on the trail of arsenic-born
    brown n white rice, wheat of any type, it's getting to be slim pickens.


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