Tyson is making a very big change to its chicken by Benjamin Snyder @FortuneMagazine April 28, 2015, 10:19 AM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons The biggest seller of chicken in the U.S. is banning human antibiotics in its poultry products, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. Tyson Foods TSN announced that it will halt the use of such antibiotics by September 2017. Drugs deemed “medically important” are targeted in the new decision. In the past, such antibiotics were used to prevent disease in chicken pens, and to help the poultry grow. “We are better off,” said CEO Donnie Smith in an interview with Bloomberg. “We have found that not only have we been able to reduce the need for antibiotics, we have better performance along the way.” The news comes as other chicken producers and fast food chains are using fewer antibiotics and artificial products in the items they manufacture. For instance, Chipotle made the switch to stop use of GMOs in its food on Monday. The article continues: Sales of antibiotic-free chicken increased by 25 percent, in dollars, during the 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, according to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm. That represents about 11 percent of overall chicken sales. (Sales of organic chicken, which is, by definition, antibiotic-free, increased 33 percent during that period, according to IRI.) “If you take them at their word, I do think it is a big step,” Bob Martin, the program director of the Food System Policy Program at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told Bloomberg.