If you’re one of the two million people who suffered from an antibiotic-resistant infection in the past 12 months, Joe Sanderson, CEO of one of the four largest chicken factory farms in the U.S.—Sanderson Farms—has this to say about that:
“There’s no reliable science that says by using these [government] approved antibiotics, that there is going to be any resistance. We have a duty to take care of the animals.”
No reliable science. Except, for starters, a 2013 report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control revealing that 23,000 people in the U.S. alone die every year from antibiotic-resistant infections. And a report commissioned by the UK government estimating that by 2050, the annual global death toll from antibiotic-resistant disease will reach 10 million, and the global cost for treatment will be around $100 trillion.
You may not recognize the Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ: SAFM) brand name, unless you live in certain regions of the country, especially the Northeast and Southeast. That’s where the brand is sold in retail stores like 34 Shaws, Star Markets, Walmart, Lowe’s and Piggly Wiggly’s.
But that doesn’t mean you, or your kids, haven’t consumed Sanderson’s chicken “products.”
According to the company website, the Laurel, Miss.-based company processes about 3.6 billion pounds of chicken annually, at 11 processing plants in Mississippi, Texas, Georgia and Louisiana. A lot of that chicken ends up in the more than 100 processed and prepared frozen food items Sanderson sells to restaurants and institutional food service companies, including those that sell food to schools and hospitals.
Here’s the thing. Even if you never consume one bite of Sanderson Farms chicken, you’re still at risk—we all are—of getting sick, or worse, from an antibiotic-resistant superbug for which there’s no cure. Unless companies like Sanderson clean up their acts.
Call Sanderson Farms at 1-800-844-4030
h/t: Organic Consumers Association