Removing Antibiotics and Farmer Support

Subway announced Oct. 20 that the chain would use no meat that has been treated any kind of antibiotic by 2025, and almost instantaneously American farmers retaliated against the restaurant’s marketing tactic.

The choice to remove antibiotics completely from it meat supply came from those who believe antibiotic use in meats helps develop super bugs, or antibiotic resistant viruses, according to Subway.

People like fourth generation farmer Megan Dwyer urged consumers to see through the marketing choice Subway chose, saying consumers deserve to see all sides of antibiotic use.

“I want to know what am I supposed to do when one of my cows gets sick, let them suffer? Because I`m not okay with that.” Dwyer told Quad Cities (WQAD) reporter Jenna Morton Thursday.

For diseases such as pneumonia and pink eye, animals can easily die or infect the entire herd if not properly medicated, said Dwyer.

Dwyer also made a point to say that antibiotic are only used with veterinary assistance.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as the United States Department of Agriculture put regulations and restrictions to assure that antibiotics used in meat production have time, a withdrawal period, to leave the animal’s system before the animal and meat enters the consumer market.

Disgruntled farmers took to the Internet and social media posting pictures and stories about antibiotic use on sick animals who without the antibiotics could very easily die from the illness each one contracted.


Without antibiotics administer at early on, the calves, like the one above named Sangria, born in early spring could easily die of pneumonia.

Producers even caught Subway removing comments arguing the antibiotic-free movement from the company’s Facebook.

After being flooded by such stories, Subway released a secondary statement Saturday:

“We recognize that antibiotics are critical tools for keeping animals healthy and that they should be used responsibly to preserve their effectiveness in veterinary and human medicine. Our policy is that antibiotics can be used to treat, control and prevent disease, but not for growth promotion of farm animals.”

Many producers still feel as though Subway choose to use inaccurate scare tactics to amp sales with their new “totally antibiotic-free” meats considering the secondary statement never appeared clearly on Subway’s website.

The chain restaurant did attempt to clarify its stance on antibiotic use and its purpose in the meat industry.

However, in doing so Subway angered a great number of American farmers in the process.


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