Cargill promotes absence of growth-promoting antibiotics in its turkeys

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

Cargill will promoting the logo on its turkeys in the run up to Thanksgiving
Cargill will promoting the logo on its turkeys in the run up to Thanksgiving

Related tags Medicine Nutrition Livestock Poultry

Cargill’s Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms turkey brands have now removed growth-promoting antibiotics from all turkeys produced at the network of independent farms it works with, in what the company claims is an industry first for a major US turkey brand.

The company has produced a logo following collaboration with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which has resulted in the development of a three-part verification process for turkey production that exceeds government and industry standards.

Launched in time for the American public holiday Thanksgiving (27 November 2014), the logo identifies that the turkey has been raised by an independent farmer, that the producers has been trained on proper animal handling practices, and that no antibiotics were used for growth promotion - only for the treatment of illness and disease prevention.

Cargill logo

Ruth Kimmelshue, president of Cargill Turkey & Cooked Meats, said: "Consumer research tells us people are more interested than ever in where their food comes from and how it is produced.

"We believe ending the use of antibiotics to promote growth in turkeys is an important step that provides consumers with nutritious and affordable options."

Last year the Food and Drug Administration launched a three-year plan to phase out the use of antibiotics that are medically important in human health and are also used to improve growth or feed efficiency in livestock and poultry.

According to Cargill, fresh, whole turkeys under its Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms brand will be available from Thanksgiving, with all its turkey flocks to be free of growth-promoting antibiotics by the end of 2015.

Last month Cargill announced its company-owned facitlities for sows would be moving across to 100% group housing by the end of next year.

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