Fair Farms. Wise Choice: Demand Change at Weis Markets to Fight Superbugs
January 30, 2018
Without even realizing it, you might be choosing to make superbugs ー dangerous, antibiotic-resistant bacteria ー even stronger
This winter, Fair Farms learned some hopeful news: antibiotic sales for farm animals dropped by 14 percent between 2015 and 2016, the first decline since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began collecting this data. We have consumers like you to thank for this monumental shift. Your constant pressure on restaurant chains and the meat industry made this happen.
Several of the country’s top poultry companies, like Maryland-based Perdue Farms, have heeded your call and committed to responsible antibiotic use policies. However, there is still one major outlier that continues to use medically important antibiotics in a way that alarms public health professionals.
Sanderson Farms proudly boasts that it “has raised its broiler chickens with antibiotics for 70 years, and has no plans to change.” Sanderson dismisses decades of scientific research connecting the routine use of human antibiotics in livestock with the troubling rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria globally. Even worse, the company has launched a misleading advertising campaign claiming that meat raised without antibiotics is just a “marketing gimmick.” The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) disagree, as shown by their work to ensure antibiotics are used as little as possible in livestock. You can read more about Sanderson’s practices here.
Weis Markets, a regional grocery chain many of us know and love, is selling chicken from Sanderson Farms as its house brand.
If you buy the house brand at Weis Markets, you might actually be buying Sanderson Farms poultry and inadvertently contributing to the antibiotic resistance crisis. Consumers like us deserve better and, thankfully, Weis holds the power to ensure we are making a wise choice for our families and future.
Today, Fair Farms is launching our new campaign: Fair Farms, Wise Choice. Our goal is simple: Weis Markets should adopt a healthy antibiotics policy and stop selling Sanderson Farms chicken as their house brand-unless Sanderson cleans up their act first.
Working together in 2017, we were able to secure a major win here in Maryland with passage of the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act. This trailblazing law is only the second in the nation to ban the routine use of medically important antibiotics in livestock — a critical move to get ahead of the impending superbug crisis.
Let’s build on our momentum to ensure antibiotics continue to work for our kids and grandkids. Please join us in telling Weis Markets that you want a better choice for your family. Ask that they adopt a healthy antibiotics policy for their store brand chicken.