SPRINGDALE, ARK. — A Tyson Foods Inc. spokesperson confirmed that the company will modify its “no antibiotics ever” (NAE) production claim for Tyson branded chicken used in its supply chain to reflect its new, “No Antibiotics Important to Human Medicine” (NAIHM) claim, a transition it expects to complete by the end of 2023.

According to a Wall Street Journal report published July 2, the company will add ionophores, which are antibiotics not considered important to human health, to the diets of some of its chickens used for the production of fresh products as well as frozen and ready-to-eat branded products. The report said ionophores are often used in poultry diets to prevent intestinal disease in poultry, specifically, coccidiosis.

Tyson announced in 2017 its transition to NAE was adopted across its retail and foodservice products. The spokesperson said the NAIHM transition is being made in the best interest of customers and to ensure the health of chickens in its supply chain and is part of its commitment to responsible stewardship.

“At Tyson Foods, we base our decisions on sound science and an evolving understanding of the best practices impacting our customers, consumers and the animals in our care,” according to the spokesperson.

“While roughly half of the industry uses some form of antibiotic in producing chicken, NAIHM is a heightened standard that has been recognized by the USDA for decades and qualified through program documentation showing no antibiotics important to human health have been used.”