McDonald's has a plan to reduce antibiotics in meat



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(CNN) – McDonald's says it will reduce the use of antibiotics in its meat around the world.

Like many others, the restaurant chain uses antibiotics to treat sick animals in its supply chain. According to the World Health Organization, the overuse and misuse of certain antibiotics makes them less effective in treating human diseases.

With a policy announced on Tuesday, McDonald's intends to reduce, but not eliminate, the use of antibiotics important to human health in 10 countries, from which it obtains more than 85% of its beef, including the United States , United Kingdom and Canada. Australia

The reduction will not happen immediately. McDonald's says there is "limited data on the use of antibiotics available in the global beef industry," and this month the company is establishing regional pilot testing to determine the use of antibiotics in each of the 10 countries. .

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Based on what these results reveal, McDonald's said it will set country-specific targets to reduce the use of medically important antibiotics by the end of 2020.

"With our new policy, McDonald's is doing our part to help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for human and animal health in the future," the company said in a statement.

The hamburger chain says it hopes to achieve a general reduction in critical drug use by taking three main steps.

  • First, it will not allow the use of antibiotics of medical importance for the growth of larger animals.
  • Secondly, it will not allow the routine use of antibiotics to prevent infectious diseases in herds.
  • Third, it will not allow the use of antibiotics to control the spread of infectious diseases in herds. Instead, the policy requires the treatment of individual animals that show signs of being ill.

The policy encourages meat producers to use the most important antibiotics as a last resort, after a qualified veterinarian has considered such use as the best option.

In 2016, McDonald's fully implemented the commitment to stop serving chicken treated with antibiotics of medical importance in the United States, according to the company. In 2017, he announced a policy for chicken in other areas of the world.

In October, the National Resources Defense Council ranked 25 US hamburger chains. according to their antibiotic policies. McDonald's has a rating of F.

The National Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy organization, said McDonald's new commitment could make a difference for the fast-food industry. It is the first major hamburger chain to announce a comprehensive policy of reducing the use of antibiotics for all meat sold by its restaurants, the group said in a statement.

"This important step forward raises the level of other hamburger chains and sends an unequivocal market signal to beef producers around the world." No one in the world sells more hamburgers than McDonald's, and their actions can shape the future of the industry, "said Lena Brook, director of Food and Agriculture for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"With Washington sleeping at the wheel of this growing health threat, market leadership is essential, and we will be watching with great interest to see how this policy develops."

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