National organic regulations prohibit the use of antibiotics in livestock farming. Instead of routinely giving antibiotics to their animals, organic farmers keep animals healthy through proper nutrition and sanitation, by reducing animal stress and with preventative and holistic animal health practices.
A common misunderstanding is that these organic regulations are meant to keep antibiotics out of the food we eat. In fact, USDA regulations for nonorganic production already do this much. The organic regulations regarding antibiotics are mainly an effort to reduce the growing human-health threat posed by antibiotic resistance.
The Humane Society tells us that more than 40% of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are given to farm animals. On nonorganic farms, farmers may routinely give prophylactic antibiotics to livestock to keep the animals healthy in crowded, unsanitary and essentially unhealthy living conditions. This widespread use of antibiotics in livestock can lead to the development of new antibiotic-resistant “super bugs”—a growing threat to human health.
Here at Stonyfield, we think it’s just sensible and humane to give cows clean, healthy living conditions and low-stress lives and, in so doing, to keep them healthy without all of those antibiotic injections.