Target: Steve Easterbrook, Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s Restaurants
Goal: Applaud the world’s largest fast food chain for ending the use of antibiotics in its chicken.
Fast food giant McDonald’s has announced it will be phasing out the use of antibiotics in its US-produced chicken, making it the biggest company so far to make such a commitment. Antibiotics are commonly fed to livestock not only to encourage growth, but to keep away the infections that are often rampant in dirty, crowded factory farms. In a statement, the restaurant said it will be working with its suppliers to stop the use of any antibiotic deemed useful to human medicine.
Antibiotic use in animals is of concern to humans because the overuse or improper use of antibiotics can breed drug-resistant superbugs. These superbugs are bacteria that have become impervious to current medical treatments. These drug-resistant strains are responsible for nearly 23,000 deaths per year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which has labeled superbugs a global health crisis.
The changes, announced only three days after new CEO Steve Easterbrook took over, will affect nearly 15,000 McDonald’s locations across America. In a recent conference, Mr. Easterbrook told the public of his plans to create a more “modern, progressive burger company.” According to McDonald’s US President Mike Andres, the company is in store for some other big changes in the coming months.
Not only will the change eliminate the use of human-grade antibiotics in millions of animals, but it could result in industry-wide changes to standards for antibiotic use. Smaller chains as well as large suppliers may be prompted to follow suit and eliminate antibiotics in their meats. Sign the petition below to praise McDonald’s for phasing out the use of antibiotics in the interest of addressing the superbug crisis.
Dear Mr. Steve Easterbrook,
McDonald’s has recently announced that it will demand that its suppliers stop giving antibiotics used in human medicine to the chickens they raise in an effort to combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These bacteria, or superbugs, are common infections such as strep throat and pneumonia that have mutated to become immune to antibiotic treatment. These drug-resistant strains are responsible for more than two million infections and 23,000 deaths annually.
As the world’s largest fast food chain, McDonald’s is setting a positive example for others in the industry. We, the undersigned, applaud your consideration for human health by eliminating the use of antibiotics in chickens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mstar via Creative Commons