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McDonald's Announces Plan to Source Chicken Raised without Medically Important Antibiotics

March 04, 2015
Center for Food Safety

“McDonald's is setting the bar for the entire fast food industry.”

Washington D.C (March 4, 2015) – Center for Food Safety today applauded the announcement by McDonald's that the company will require poultry suppliers to stop using certain antibiotics. The company announced today that it will commit to buying chicken raised without medically important antibiotics at all national restaurant locations within two years.

“As the world’s largest fast food chain, McDonald’s has taken a significant step forward in reducing the overuse of antibiotics in the poultry industry and preserving antibiotic effectiveness for people,” said Paige Tomaselli, Senior Staff Attorney at Center for Food Safety.

“Overusing antibiotics to prevent disease in food animals means that those life saving drugs are not available for humans when we need them. It's a shortsighted policy at privatizes short-term profits at the long-term expense of the health and safety of the human race,” added Tomaselli.

McDonald’s commitment comes amidst growing concern for the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria worldwide, which has been linked to routine feeding of low doses of antibiotics to animals raised for food. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have declared antibiotic resistance to be among the top five health threats facing our nation. Antibiotic use in livestock is increasing, accounting for roughly 80 percent of antibiotics sold in the United States.

Center for Food Safety hopes McDonald’s continues to raise the bar. Similar commitments for the company’s beef and pork supply chains are greatly needed, as acknowledged by the company’s new global vision statement published today in conjunction with the announcement. However, the vision statement accepts the continued use of medically important antibiotics for routine disease prevention in all food animals.

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