The Sixth Chain Reaction Scorecard ranks by letter grade the top twenty fast food and fast casual U.S. restaurant chains that serve beef on the policies and actions related to antibiotic use in their beef supplies.
The spread of COVID-19 clearly illustrates how a public health crisis can have devastating impacts on people's health and livelihoods. Impacts have been unevenly distributed, with Black, Indigenous, Latino, and other people of color disproportionately affected. The pandemic is also revealing how effective action — or its opposite, inaction — can change the course of such a crisis.
Antibiotic resistance is another public health crisis facing the globe, with many of these same dynamics, albeit unfolding at a slower pace. Recently published estimates indicate that between 35,000 and 160,000 Americans die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections.
In this Sixth Chain Reaction Scorecard, surveyed companies made little progress transitioning to responsible antibiotic use in their beef supplies in 2020, except for one notable exception, Wendy's. Wendy's committed to prohibiting the routine use of medically important antibiotics in its beef supply chain by the end of 2030.17 McDonald's in contrast failed to meet its own commitment to set antibiotic use reduction targets by the end of 2020. Other companies reported limited, if any, progress on their commitments.