Antibiotics

More than half of the top 25 restaurant chains (14 to be exact) in the U.S. have taken some action to restrict the routine use of antibiotics in their meat supply chains, up from 9 just one year ago. Combined, these fourteen restaurants account for a whopping two-thirds of all fast food industry revenue.

McDonald’s Should go Whole Hog in Preserving Antibiotics

By | Shelby Luce
Antibiotics Fellow

According to McDonald’s senior director of U.S food and packaging, Americans alone consume one billion pounds of beef at McDonald’s in a year. The fast food giant sells more than 75 hamburgers a second. It’s time for one of the world’s largest purveyors of beef and pork to set time-bound targets for eliminating routine use of all medically important antibiotics from their meat supply chain.

News Release | Public Health, Antibiotics

McDonald’s Changes Meat Supply Guidelines to Stem Spread of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

In response to the health risks posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, McDonald’s has announced it is implementing new targets for cutting antibiotic use in the global chicken supply, and plans to expand its commitment to fewer antibiotics in pork and beef.

Last week another major restaurant took action to protect antibiotics, and a major laggard in the meat industry received a much-needed reality check.

News Release | Public Health, Antibiotics

Maryland’s Keep Antibiotics Effective Act Goes Into Law without Governor’s Signature

The Keep Antibiotics Effective Act has gone into law without a signature from Governor Larry Hogan, making Maryland the second state in the country after California to meaningfully address the widespread misuse of antibiotics in livestock and poultry. The new law will prohibit the routine use of antibiotics on animals that are not sick, a practice public health experts say can fuel the spread of drug resistant bacteria.

Even in the best of times, positive social change can be hard to come by. That is why the latest victory for consumers and our health is such welcome news.

McDonald’s Fresh Quarter Pounder: Let’s Go Further

By | Steve Blackledge
Public Health Program Director

Yesterday, McDonald's announced a plan to boost the sales of the Quarter Pounder — using fresh beef instead of frozen patties. To the marketing team at McDonald's, here's an idea from your old playbook: commit to using beef and pork that's raised without the routine use of antibiotics.

US, European Consumer Groups Holding Public Events In DC This Week

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Consumer Program Director

The PIRG-backed TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (tacd.org) -- a forum to ensure that trade policies serve consumers -- holds its 17th Annual Meeting in Washington on Tuesday 21 March. The public main event is titled: "A consumer agenda for transatlantic markets: safeguarding protections and making progress in times of political change." On Wednesday, the group sponsors two public side events: (1) Consumer Health, Consumer Action and Antimicrobial Resistance and (2) Empowering and Protecting Youth in the Big Data Era.

If It Looks Like a Chicken and Walks Like a Chicken

By | Steve Blackledge
Public Health Program Director

Earlier this week, Tyson Foods announced another big step toward stopping the overuse of antibiotics on industrial farms. The announcement underscores a larger trend that’s been happening for a few years now; consumer pressure is helping to drive important public health changes in the marketplace. To be sure, there are laggards on the antibiotics front (see our recent blog on KFC), but perhaps no company has lagged as aggressively and proudly as Sanderson Farms. 

Bravo, Tyson Foods! Today the company announced its plan to eliminate antibiotics in the chickens raised for its brand name chicken offerings (breasts, wings, and nuggets). This move by the largest U.S. meat company (in revenue), is indicative of a larger paradigm shift in the chicken industry.

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