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Tyson chicken to be antibiotic-free

June 19, 2007 at 8:18 PM

SPRINGDALE, Ark., June 19 (UPI) -- Tyson Foods announced Tuesday it will produce all of its fresh chicken from birds raised without antibiotics in response to U.S. consumer demands.

"While we have great confidence in the quality of our traditional chicken, we're also committed to providing mainstream consumers with the kind of products they want," Richard L. Bond, Tyson Foods president and chief executive officer, said in a news release. "According to our research, 91 percent of consumers agree it's important to have fresh chicken produced and labeled 'raised without antibiotics.'"

Tyson started selling the higher-priced, non-antibiotic chicken this week. The Springdale, Ark., company said it expects to convert Tyson Deli Rotisserie and Marinated Raw Breaded eight-piece items starting in early July and individually quick frozen chicken by late August.

"This is great news for American consumers who have made it clear they pay attention to the use and presence of all sorts of antibiotics in the environment," said Dr. Lisa Hark, director of the Nutrition Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Products from flocks treated with therapeutic antibiotics will be produced, but won't be included under the Raised Without Antibiotics label.

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