Antibiotic free is becoming a prized descriptor in the food industry. The General Assembly gave the whole state the label.
According to Reuters, Maryland will become only the second state to ban the use of antibiotics on poultry and livestock that are healthy. They can still be used if animals are sick.
The law is aimed at combatting bacteria called superbugs, which are resistant to bacteria. As more antibiotics are used, the bacteria gets tougher. There have been outbreaks at hospitals, but when it comes to nature everything is connected. Since the highest percentage of antibiotics are used in agriculture, advocates see a key front in the battle down on the farm.
In this case, the state is catching up with at least one key private player. Perdue Farms, located on the Eastern Shore, made some noise with a decision to go antibiotic-free in the fall.
California became the first state to pass such legislation in 2015. The laws go further even than what’s recommended by the FDA.
In Maryland, the law takes effect in October. Gov. Larry Hogan allowed it to become law without his signature, meaning he neither signed off nor vetoed.
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