McDonald’s Makes a Moves to Reduce Antibiotics in Beef
Hold the BigMac: McDonald’s just announced they’ll begin to reduce their use of antibiotics in their beef-related products. Global Vice President of Sustainability Keith Kenny acknowledged in December that antibiotic resistance is “one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development today,” as defined by the World Health Organization.
Whether you eat fast food or not, this is big news for environmentalists, the public health sector and consumers. A company such as McDonald’s taking a stance on how the antibiotics in our food is harmful is setting a never-before-seen precedent for the fast-food industry. This transparency will be empowering for consumers to know exactly what they are eating.
Dr. Lance B Price, director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center says, “We commend McDonald’s efforts to develop a global policy guiding how antibiotics are used within the beef supply chain. The company has set an ambitious timeline for implementing this policy and it’s heartening that it is setting reduction targets that will be transparent and reported publicly to its customers… It is our hope that the entire beef industry will follow McDonald’s leadership and adopt similar policies that reduce and where possible eliminate antibiotic use, while still allowing veterinarians to treat sick animals.”
The corporate plan has been in the works for more than a year and McDonald’s consulted several public health leaders, industry producers and expert stakeholders before making any key decisions.
By the end of 2020, McDonald’s hopes to have established reduction targets specific to medically important antibiotics. By 2022, the company’s goal is to be reporting progress against antibiotic reduction targets across their top 10 beef-sourcing markets.
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