KFC to stop using chickens raised with human antibiotics

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The parent company of KFC announced it will stop buying chicken that is raised using antibiotics that are important to human medicine.

"We didn't do it alone; we've been working with more than 2,000 farms across the country - a lot of them family owned and managed - to make this change", Hochman wrote.

Meat producers give animals antibiotics to make them grow faster and prevent illness. Officials have said that it can lead to germs becoming resistant to drugs, making antibiotics no longer effective in treating some illnesses in humans. Other fast food companies have made similar pledges, including McDonald's Corp.

The fried chicken company said their suppliers may still use would use antibiotics specific to animals to treat diseases in the chickens, according to the Associated Press.

The Southern-themed fast-food maker, which even I have to admit I've enjoyed from time to time (those mashed potatoes might not be fresh, but they're pretty damn tasty), is now the second-biggest US chicken chain.

"This announcement is a win for anybody who might someday depend on antibiotics to get well or even save their lives - i.e. everybody", Wellington added.

"This is another major milestone in our Re-Colonelization efforts", Kevin Hochman, President and Chief Concept Officer for KFC U.S., said in a statement.

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Using data from a 2017 WATT PoultryUSA survey, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates that more than 42 percent of the US chicken industry is either under an antibiotics stewardship pledge or has already converted to responsible practices.

The chain, owned by Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum Brands Inc. "The market is responding to consumer demand for better meat".

KFC also recently pledged to eliminate artificial colors and flavors from all of its core products by the end of 2018 and to have 100% of the menu, except for drinks and third-party products, free of food dyes by the end of this year.

Right now the policy will only take effect at KFCs in the USA, so you might want to hold off on eating at the chain if and when you travel outside the country - oh, and obviously until the 2018 antibiotic ban takes effect.

A shareholder resolution filed by the non-profit group As You Sow with KFC outlined the business risks involved in companies that are not keeping pace with growing consumer concern around antibiotic overuse.

The growing ranks of global health experts who have been alarmed by the rise in antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" have an unlikely new hero: KFC, the fried chicken giant.

Yum's Taco Bell chain already committed to serve chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine in all US restaurants by the end of last month.