Supplies of chicken raised without antibiotics are outstripping demand, a major U.S. poultry producer said on January 16, a sign of overproduction that could eat into processors’ profits.
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Large chicken and restaurant companies, including Tyson Foods Inc. and McDonald’s Corp., have raced to cut antibiotics from poultry supplies as public health experts have warned about the link between use of the drugs in farms and the rise of drug-resistant bacteria.
Antibiotic-free chickens made up an average of 40.5 percent of all fresh U.S. production for the first 10 months of 2017, Sanderson Farms Inc. said in a regulatory filing. However, only 6.4 percent of sales were for products sold as antibiotic-free (ABF), according to Sanderson, the third-largest U.S. poultry producer.
The company declined to identify the source of the data.