McDonald’s announces antibiotic policy
Fast food giant McDonald’s has announced a new policy to reduce the overall use of antibiotics in animals, which applies across 85% of its global beef supply chain.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.
McDonald’s has stated that it understands that reducing the overall use of medically important antibiotics in beef is complex and cannot be accomplished overnight. Additionally, there is limited antibiotic usage data available across the global beef industry.
McDonald’s is now partnering with supplying beef producers in its top ten beef sourcing markets to measure and understand current usage of antibiotics across a diverse, global supply chain.
By the end of 2020, McDonalds reports that it hopes to establish reduction targets for medically important antibiotics for these markets; and starting in 2022, it will be reporting progress against antibiotic reduction targets across its top ten beef sourcing markets.
Dr. Lance B. Prince, director, Antibiotic Resistance Action Centre, George Washington University commented: “Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to mankind today. We commend McDonald’s efforts to develop a global policy guiding how antibiotics are used within its beef supply chain.
“It is our hope that the entire beef industry will follow McDonald’s leadership and adopt similar policies that reduce and where possible eliminate antibiotic use.”
Keith Kenny, global vice president, sustainability, added: “We are excited to partner with out beef supply chain around the world to accelerate the responsible use of antibiotics, whilst continuing to look after the health and welfare of those animals in our supply chain.”
McDonald’s has been developing the new policy over the past year and a half, while consulting a cross-section of expert stakeholders from veterinarians, to public health leaders, to the beef producers responsible for taking care of the health of animals within the supply chain.
McDonald’s has said that its overall approach to responsible use of antibiotics focuses on refining its selection and administration, reducing its use, and ultimately replacing antibiotics with long-term solutions to prevent diseases, and protect animal health and welfare.
To read the full policy, click here.