It’€™s the most wonderful time of the year . . . for Butterball, the largest producer of holiday turkeys in the U.S.  It’€™s also Butterball’€™s most profitable time of the year.

But this year, could it be that the largest purveyor of antibiotic-fed turkeys is sensing a threat? From the growing sales of organic, antibiotic-free turkeys?

This week, Butterball announced a shortage of turkeys. Food writer Tom Philpott suggests a number of possible explanations for the very public statement. Including the one also posited by Time Magazine’€™s Laura Stampler, that the ‘€œgreat big turkey shortfall of Thanksgiving ’13 is a ‘€˜marketing ploy to build turkey hype.’€™’€

Hype or no hype, here’€™s what really matters. Butterball routinely feeds antibiotics to its turkeys. So the birds will grow bigger, faster. Right along with Butterball’€™s profits. Scientists say this indiscriminate use of antibiotics in turkey feed is producing antibiotic-resistant bugs. And those bugs are turning up in turkey meat. Worse yet, the over-use of antibiotics is making humans resistant to antibiotics. Which means they won’€™t work when we really need them.
You don’€™t buy Butterball turkeys. Because of the antibiotics. And because the birds are raised in deplorable conditions. But millions of people still do. So let’€™s tell CEO Rod Brenneman to get the antibiotics out of Butterball turkeys. Because, frankly, they’€™re making us sick.

More on antibiotic resistance

TAKE ACTION: Tell CEO Rod Brenneman to Get Antibiotics Out of Butterball Turkeys!