A charity looking to fight the rise of dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria asked the public to help convince McDonald's restaurants around the world to stop serving meat and milk from animals raised with routine use of medically important antibiotics.
A week after the world's biggest fast-food company took that step with poultry at its U.S. restaurants, U.K.-based ShareAction launched an online campaign enabling people to email McDonald's CEO.
The group, which promotes socially responsible investing, wants McDonald’s to prohibit the use of antibiotics important to human medicine in McDonald's global chicken, beef, pork and dairy supply chains, for purposes other than disease treatment or non-routine control of veterinarian-diagnosed illness.
The concern about antibiotics use in meat and dairy
An estimated 70 percent of antibiotics important to human health are sold for use in meat and dairy production.
Scientists have warned that regular use of antibiotics to promote growth and prevent illness in healthy farms animals contributes to the rise of antibiotic-resistant "superbug" infections, which kill at least 23,000 Americans each year and pose a significant threat to global health.
McDonald's has said it is premature to set a timeline for curbing antibiotic use in meats other than chicken, due to varying agricultural practices and regulations around the world.
Meanwhile, Wendy's announced last week that by 2017, it would stop using chickens raised with antibiotics important to human health. It also said it would set specific goals for pork and beef production in 2017.
KFC fried-chicken chain is under fire for a policy that critics say effectively allows for routine use of antibiotics by its chicken suppliers.
In April, an investor coalition led by ShareAction and the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return (FAIRR) Initiative, pressed McDonald's and nine other large food companies to set timelines for stopping the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics important to human health in their supply chains.
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