Anything that lowers the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in agriculture is a good way to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance. Fromt he NY Times:
Tyson Foods, one of the nation’s largest poultry producers, said yesterday that it would no longer use antibiotics to raise chicken sold fresh in stores and would start a $70 million advertising campaign to promote the shift.
The company said that fresh chicken raised without antibiotics was shipped to stores Monday and would be sold beginning later this week in packaging that emphasizes there are no artificial ingredients.
“We’re providing mainstream consumers with products they want,” Tyson’s chief executive, Richard L. Bond, said at a news conference.
Consumers will have to pay slightly more for the privilege though. Dave Hogberg, a senior vice president at Tyson, declined to specify how much of an increase shoppers would see at stores, but he said it would be “below the cost consumers say they’re willing to pay.”
He added that competitors charge about $1.50 to $2 a pound more for boneless, skinless chicken breast without antibiotics and that the price increase for Tyson’s antibiotic-free chicken would be less than $1 a pound.
Tyson will also be spending more to raise the antibiotic-free chickens, although Mr. Hogberg declined to say how much. He said that Tyson was converting 20 — not quite half — of its production facilities to produce the products.
Mr. Bond said the switch would not affect the company’s earnings in the short term and could increase demand for chicken.