Sanderson Farms CEO Joe Sanderson says that the company has no plans to reduce or eliminate use of antibiotics in their sourced livestock--the exact opposite of what many fast food chains and U.S. chicken companies like Tyson Foods have vowed to do.

Sanderson told the Wall Street Journal that there’s "no reliable science that says by using these [government] approved antibiotics, that there is going to be any resistance,"

According to Sanderson, consumer health concerns are not valid and other companies who have decided to cut back on antibiotic use are only doing so for one reason--to appease consumers through marketing. He also believes that limiting or eliminating the use of antibiotics in livestock could be detrimental to the animals’ health--ultimately causing increased mortality which would spur wasted feed, water and energy. The company has looked into alternatives to antibiotic use but have found them all to be inadequate.

Sanderson will continue supporting the company’s chicken farmers’ use of antibiotics to treat ill birds, prevent illness and speed up weight gain. To prove his point, Sanderson points out that in all the years of antibiotic use within the meat industry, no problems have emerged. His remarks directly oppose the viewpoints of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the White House--both of which say that use of antibiotics in livestock has lead to these animals developing bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotics.

Sanderson Farms is based in Laurel, MS and is one of the top five chicken processors in the U.S.