Chick-Fil-A’s New Chicken Policy Sparks Debate

Chick-fil-A has announced a significant change in its food sourcing policies.

Starting this spring, the company will move away from its previous standard of serving exclusively antibiotic-free chicken. This decision marks a departure from a commitment Chick-fil-A made several years ago, when it promised to serve only chicken raised without antibiotics by 2019.

The initial commitment to antibiotic-free chicken was part of a growing trend within the fast-food industry as consumer demand for healthier options increased.

Chick-fil-A cited supply concerns in an announcement on its website: “To maintain supply of the high-quality chicken you expect from us, Chick-fil-A will shift from No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) to No Antibiotics Important To Human Medicine (NAIHM) starting in the Spring of 2024.”

“NAE means no antibiotics of any kind were used in raising the animal. NAIHM restricts the use of those antibiotics that are important to human medicine and commonly used to treat people, and allows use of animal antibiotics only if the animal and those around it were to become sick,” the announcement continued.

Chick-fil-A’s announcement has sparked a mix of reactions. Supporters of antibiotic-free meat argue that the overuse of antibiotics in livestock can contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, posing a significant public health risk. On the other hand, some argue that the use of antibiotics, when managed responsibly, can be an essential tool in ensuring animal health and food safety.

Conservative podcast host Alex Clark posted on X that people should stop consuming Chick-fil-A:

Chick-fil-A’s announcement follows a recent trend in the food industry.

In July 2023, Tyson Foods declared a shift towards NAIHM (No Antibiotics Important to Human Medicine) production by the end of the year. This announcement came after the company had initially eliminated the use of antibiotics in 2017.

Furthermore, in March, Reuters reported that Panera Bread declared its intention to remove claims including “No Antibiotics Ever,” “Vegetarian Fed,” “Grass Fed Pasture Raised,” “Animal Welfare,” and any references to “Hormones” from its U.S. locations by March 27.

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