WATT PoultryUSA - October 2015 - 10

10 ❙ WATT POULTRY USA

■ MYTHS & FACTS ABOUT POULTRY

myths about poultry production
Four poultry experts bust six myths about poultry production.
BY GARY THORNTON

MYTH 1: Chickens are all drugged up.
This may be the greatest myth
about poultry, according to the
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association's
John Glisson, and it is wrong
on several counts. He provided
myth-busting facts about eachmisunderstanding of antibiotic use in
poultry.
It is a myth to say that chickens are fed antibiotics just to
make them grow faster.
It is misleading to call antibiotics "growth promoters," something
which fosters misunderstanding
of how they work in poultry, Dr.
Glisson explained. The role of antibiotics - their mode of action - is
to keep poultry healthy.
"A lot of the so-called growthpromoting antibiotics on the market
today were licensed by FDA in the
1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and nobody knew how they worked. The
only thing that could be measured is
they made the chickens grow faster,
and they did. They still do.
"Now we know how the antibiotics work. The way that antibiotics make chickens grow faster is
that they prevent diseases of the
intestinal tract, bacterial diseases.
But the name has stayed around:

»

» Media members attending the
2015 Chicken Media Summit
heard four poultry experts bust
six prevalentmyths about poultry
production.
Media in attendance at the
event, sponsored by the National
Chicken Council and the U.S.
Poultry & Egg Association, included print, broadcast and digital, ranging from reporters from
Bloomberg Business Media and
the Wall Street Journal to popular
bloggers about food.

» John Glisson, vice president of
research, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association

growth promoters. That's not the
reason that they're fed to chickens,
but it is one of the results; it [protects chickens from infection and
keeps them healthy which] makes
them grow faster," he said.
It is a myth to say that chickens are fed huge quantities of
antibiotics and that this is fueling the increase in antibiotic resistance in human pathogens.
The often-cited statistic that
80 percent of the antibiotics used
are in livestock and poultry can
be misleading, Glisson said. That
percentage is based on sales and
overlooks the number of animals
to which the antibiotics are administered. Food-production animals
greatly outnumber people, so the
usage of antibiotics in animals can

»

www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ October 2015


http://www.WATTAgNet.com

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WATT PoultryUSA - October 2015 - Contents
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