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Pressure on McDonald’s to impose global antibiotics ban

12 August 2016  •  Author(s): Roy Manuell

An online campaign asking for an antibiotics ban is putting pressure on McDonald’s to implement a global ban on products derived from animals treated with antibiotics.

poultry-antibiotics-ban-mcdonalds

The campaign, inspired by charity ShareAction has called for the multinational to impose the ban based upon the scientific argument that treating livestock with antibiotics is leading to a rise in drug-resistant superbugs.

The pressure follows on from McDonald’s decision last week to stop using poultry produce treated with antibiotics.

Fast food restaurants are increasingly under pressure to enforce changes and are seen to be driving such changes in the industry, forcing suppliers to adapt according to consumer demand.

However the policy has been criticised for its exclusivity in the US.

The world’s largest fast food chain has been called upon by ShareAction to make changes who has asked online users to email McDonald’s chief executive Steve Easterbrook.

Industry experts have warned that the consistent use of antibiotics for growth and the prevention of illness in farm animals actively contributes to the rise of “superbug” drug-resistant diseases reported to kill at least 23,000 Americans a year and considered to represent a significant threat to global public health.

ShareAction’s studies report that 70% of all antibiotics in use in the US are given to livestock, a figure that is estimated to stand at 50% in the UK.

Fast food restaurants are increasingly under pressure to enforce changes and are seen to be driving such changes in the industry, forcing suppliers to adapt according to consumer demand.

ShareAction chief executive Catherine Howarth said in a statement: “We hope this action will encourage McDonald’s to supersize their ambition.”

While McDonald’s conceded that it’s too early to set a timeline for changes, the company suggested that it “continues to regularly review this issue” not ruling out a future antibiotics ban.

McDonald’s however are not the only global brand under pressure. US chain Wendy’s plans to stop using poultry raised with antibiotics by 2017 aiming to set comparable goals for pork and beef.

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