“We will not let a sick animal suffer:” Tyson to phase out antibiotics in chicken

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Tyson Foods is working to eliminate human antibiotics from its chickens over the next two years.

The poultry giant said Tuesday it is concerned about the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections in humans and wants to do its part to ensure that antibiotics are still effective.

“We don’t have all the answers,” said Christine Daugherty, head of sustainable food production at Tyson, in a statement. “But we want to make sure that antibiotics continue to work.”

The company has already begun reducing antibiotic use in its “broiler” chickens, which are raised for meat. Under the plans announced Tuesday, Tyson said it will phase out antibiotics in its chicken flock by 2017.

Tyson also said it plans to work with its suppliers to reduce antibiotic use in cattle, hogs and turkeys.

The Arkansas-based company is one of the largest producers of chicken, beef and pork products. It owns brand names such as Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farms and Sara Lee.

While it wants to move away from antibiotics, Tyson said it will continue to treat sick animals. The company is working with others in the industry to develop alternatives to antibiotics used on farms.

“We will not let a sick animal suffer,” said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. “We believe it’s our responsibility to help drive action towards sustainable solutions to this challenge by working with our chicken, turkey, beef and pork supply chains.”

Last month, McDonald’s said it will only use chicken raised without certain types of antibiotics. Tyson supplies much of the chicken used in McNuggets.

The news comes one day after Chipotle Mexican Grill announced plans to remove all genetically modified ingredients in its food.