Sanders Farms' Truth About Chicken campaign
Sanderson Farms defends the use of antibiotics in the company's poultry production.
LAUREL, Miss. – Sanderson Farms, Inc. has developed a new advertising campaign, the primary objective of which is to dispel the myths surrounding the use of antibiotics in poultry production. In addition, the company plans to expose marketing gimmicks that many companies use that mislead and misinform consumers about poultry products.

“At Sanderson Farms, we have a responsibility to empower consumers to make informed decisions by debunking the myths perpetuated through the media and the unfortunate use of misleading labels,” said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., CEO and chairman of the board for Sanderson Farms. “Some in the industry, by way of their labels and advertising efforts, have misled consumers to believe that only their chicken is raised cage free and is free of antibiotics and added hormones. The fact is that FDA regulations require all chicken made available for purchase be free of antibiotic residues and the use of added hormones has been illegal since the 1950s.

Joe Sanderson, Sanderson Farms
Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., CEO and chairman, Sanderson Farms

“As long as scientific research indicates that antibiotics are safe and healthy, we’ll continue to make the right decision when it comes to how we raise our chickens for our customers. Sanderson Farms’ No. 1 priority continues to be providing our consumers with safe, wholesome, high-quality chicken,” Sanderson concluded.

Sanderson Farms supports the responsible use of antibiotics in food-producing animals, and many experts across the industry agree, according to the company.

“The truth is, we have not seen any credible scientific research to support the idea that the judicious use of antibiotics in chicken contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance in humans,” said Dr. Phil Stayer, DVM, corporate veterinarian for Sanderson Farms. “At Sanderson Farms, we believe we have a moral responsibility to protect the welfare of our animals, and as veterinarians, we have taken an oath to relieve the suffering of animals, particularly those under our supervision. It’s simply the humane thing to do.

“We have an obligation to our customers to raise healthy chickens, and in turn, provide a safe food supply,” Stayer said. “It has been proven that maintaining chicken flock health is directly related to improved food safety.”

Industry organizations including the National Chicken Council, American Veterinary Medical Association, the North American Meat Institute, the American Association of Avian Pathologists and the Federation of Animal Science Societies all believe the judicious use of antibiotics is an acceptable form of treatment or prevention of disease in food-producing animals.

Many experts, including those at Sanderson Farms, agree the issue of antibiotic resistance is related to the overuse and over-prescription of antibiotics in humans, rather than agricultural processes such as the judicious use of antibiotics in poultry production, the company said.