The Delmarva Peninsula churns out 11 million birds per week, almost 7 percent of the nation’s poultry. Currently, livestock operations burn through about 70 percent of the “medically important” antibiotics used in the nation. Microbes that have evolved to withstand antibiotics now sicken 2 million Americans each year and kill 23,000 others — more than homicide. Even though public health authorities from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have long pointed to the meat industry’s reliance on antibiotics as a major culprit in human resistance to the drugs, the FDA has never reined in their use. But since 2002, Perdue has been quietly eliminating the blanket use of antibiotics in its chicken production. As of early 2016, two-thirds of the 676 million birds Perdue slaughters every year never get a drop of antibiotics in their entire lives.