Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Ambitious Consumers Want Even Fewer Antibiotics from McDonald's

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Ambitious Consumers Want Even Fewer Antibiotics from McDonald's

Article excerpt

An advocacy group has urged McDonald's to expand its antibiotics- free pledge, pushing to see how far the fast food giant will go in its outreach to food-conscious consumers.

The group ShareAction has asked consumers to write to the chain's chief executive officer about extending its anti-antibiotics commitment, the BBC reported. McDonald's promised to cut preventative antibiotics from its chicken in 2015, but the advocacy group is pushing the limits of the chain's current wave of menu- origin awareness.

"Excessive antibiotics use has global consequences, and is not bound by territorial borders or confined to poultry production alone," reads the sample letter on the group's website. "As a consumer, I want to feel confident that the food I purchase has been responsibly sourced, and isn't contributing to this rising threat to public health: antimicrobial resistance."

The sample form letter ShareAction asks for a global extension to antibiotics-free pledge in all 30,000 of its global stores, citing concerns about the effect of preventative antibiotics on human health care and requesting a timeline for phasing them out. McDonald's warned of the logistical challenges from making such a drastic cut worldwide, but the group, which promotes investment in companies that cater to social interests, is still pushing, Reuters reported.

"We hope this action will encourage McDonald's to supersize their ambition," ShareAction chief executive Catherine Howarth said.

Consumer groups with similar goals are currently pressuring other fast food chains to change their policies on antibiotics. KFC received petitions about use of antibiotics in its chicken on Thursday, the BBC reported, and Wendy's told Reuters that antibiotics would be cut from its chicken in 2017, and a plan to do the same for other meats would follow. …

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