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KFC Chicken Will No Longer Be Antibiotic Lickin’ Good

In answer to a call to end widespread use of antibiotics in animals that end up on your plate for dinner, KFC has announced that by the end of 2018, it will no longer use chickens raised on medically important antibiotics. As reported by Ars Technica, that makes 11 of the top 15 restaurant chains coming onboard with this promise.

Heavy reliance on antibiotics in medicine and agriculture has brought about drug-resistant bacteria, which exacerbate successful treatment of many human infections, and every year, many restaurants and supermarkets commit to only selling meat raised without antibiotics or at least a minimal amount. Yet, despite farmers and food producers pledging to reduce or stop antibiotics use, a new report finds that sales of antibiotics for use on farms are going up, not down.

Unfortunately, loopholes have made it far too easy for farmers to walk into a veterinary feed supply store and pick up an 80-pound bag of antibiotics without a prescription. Once they arrive on the farm, these antibiotics can be used for both growth promotion and as a prophylactic against disease.

Chickens raised for food in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are definitely on the radar in this regard, but other CAFOs are also a concern, especially cattle and hogs. Because of egregious violations of trust like this, it’s evident that the only way to stop it is to completely ban at a federal level the use of antibiotics as animal-growth promoters. The other way is to speak with your pocketbook: In stores, look for certified grass fed standards labels and refuse to purchase anything else. Or, buy locally from farmers who raise their animals as grass fed and free-ranging.
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