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They'd Be Lovin' It if McDonald's Went Antibiotic Free

PHOTO: McDonald's is being urged to stop using meat that's been raised with antibiotics, with a new campaign from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Photo credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr.
PHOTO: McDonald's is being urged to stop using meat that's been raised with antibiotics, with a new campaign from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Photo credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr.
January 26, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas – A new campaign has been launched urging the largest restaurant chain in the nation to stop purchasing meat that's been raised with antibiotics.

Pamela Clough, campaign coordinator of the Stop Antibiotics Overuse Campaign with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, says there's a growing public health threat with what she calls the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture, so PIRG is asking McDonald's to take such meat off the menu.

"They are one of the largest purchasers of beef, pork and chicken in the U.S., and this commitment from McDonald's would really help tackle the growing public health crisis of antibiotics resistance," Clough points out.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year some 2 million Americans become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 of them die as a direct result of these infections.

In 2003, McDonald's did adopt a policy on purchasing meat raised without antibiotics, but Clough says while a step in the right direction, the Golden Arches didn't go far enough.

"It only applied to some suppliers, and didn't require even these suppliers to only purchase meat raised without antibiotics,” she explains. “It had to do with antibiotics used for growth promotion versus disease prevention. So in the end it's not enough. We need stronger action."

McDonald's says it recognizes the importance of combating antibiotic resistance and an update to its policy on antibiotic use in food animals is due out this year.


John Michaelson, Public News Service - TX