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KFC Commits to Eliminate Common-Use Antibiotics

  

Apr 19, 2017

    

In an April 7th release, Kentucky Fried chicken announced that by the end of 2018, all chicken purchased by KFC U.S. will be raised without antibiotics important to human medicine (“common- use” antibiotics.)

KFC and its parent Yum! Brands is the last of the major chains to announce a ban which in effect follows FDA policy and mandatory compliance by the broiler industry.

 

Lena Brook, food policy advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council, stated “The market is responding to consumer demand for better meat. This commitment from the nation’s most iconic fast food chicken chain will have a major impact on the way that birds are raised in the U.S. and in the fight against the growing epidemic of drug-resistant infections.”

For information, the decision will not have any “major impact on how birds are raised” since many broiler producers anticipated the 2017 FDA deadline and followed previously released Guidance documents. Common-use antibiotics are essentially disallowed for other than very specific therapeutic administration under strict veterinary control.

The quantitative impact of antibiotic use in broiler production on the emergence of drug-resistant organisms is questionable notwithstanding emerging knowledge based on advanced molecular analysis and epidemiologic evidence.

The majority of drug resistance in human populations results from inappropriate and over-administration of drugs by the medical profession. However, perception is reality and the industry has in large measure accepted the principle of relinquishing antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention on a routine basis in conformity with FDA rules.

Kevin Hochman president and Chief Concept Officer for KFC U.S. stated “Making this change was complex and took a lot of planning. It required close collaboration with more than 2,000 farmers, most of them family-owned and managed in more than a dozen U.S. states where they raise our chickens” This is at best a non-factual statement.  

KFC does not deal with farmers but purchases chicken products from a limited number of integrators who in turn agree to and conform to mutually agreed programs, since they own the flocks placed on contractors’ farms. These flocks receive Company feed and supervision and are harvested and processed to supply KFC and other QSRs.

It is evident that going forward the USDA will play a role in antibiotic-free broiler-raising programs through Process Verified Certification.

  
  
 








 
 
Copyright 2017 Simon M. Shane