Major Chicken Producer Sanderson Farms to Eliminate Use of Medically Important Antibiotics


MEDIA CONTACT: Stefanie Spear, [email protected], 216-387-1609

Oakland, California—Nov. 30, 2018—Sanderson Farms, the third-largest producer of chicken in the U.S., announced this morning that it will eliminate the use of antibiotics considered medically important for humans for disease prevention in its live poultry operations. Sanderson is the last of the country’s four major chicken producers to move away from routine use of medically important antibiotics.

“Although we haven’t reviewed the policy in-depth yet, we are very pleased that Sanderson Farms has chosen to take this step,” Christy Spees, environmental health program manager at As You Sow, said. “As the last major U.S. poultry producer to take action to eliminate medically important antibiotics from their operations, this has significant implications for the industry and for public health.”

Antibiotic resistance is considered a global public health crisis by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is recognized that overuse of antibiotics important to human medicine in the production of food animals is a significant contributor to this problem.

As You Sow has been engaging with Sanderson on this critical issue since 2017. As You Sow filed a shareholder resolution with the company in 2017 and again in 2018 asking it to end the use of medically important antibiotics in its operations. In 2018, the proposal received a huge 43.1% vote of support from investors, demonstrating significant momentum for action.

“The chicken industry has stepped up to the plate to help prevent antibiotic resistance, doing their part to ensure that antibiotics will continue to be effective in curing human disease,” Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow, said. “We are now looking to beef and pork producers and users to do their part.”

To learn more about As You Sow’s work on antibiotics and factory farms, click here.

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As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. See our resolutions here.