McDonald’s Launches New Antibiotic Policy for Beef

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CHICAGO — McDonald’s has announced a policy to reduce its overall use of antibiotics important to human health, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), across 85 per cent of its global beef supply chain.

Due to the complex nature of the task and limited antibiotic-usage data available across the global beef industry, the chain is collaborating with its suppliers and beef producers to take a strategic and phased approach to this policy. The company is partnering with supplying beef producers in its top-10 beef-sourcing markets — including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, the U.K and the U.S. — to measure and understand current antibiotic usage across the global supply chain. By the end of 2020, McDonald’s plans to establish reduction targets for medically important antibiotics for these markets based on these leanings. Finally, starting in 2022, the company will report progress against antibiotic-reduction targets across its top-10 beef-sourcing markets.

The company notes its overall approach to the responsible use of antibiotic focuses on “refining their selection and administration, reducing their use and ultimately replacing antibiotics with long-term solutions to prevent diseases and protect animal health and welfare.”

“McDonald’s believes antibiotic resistance is a critical public-health issue and we take seriously our unique position to use our scale for good to continue to address this challenge,” says Keith Kenny, global VP, Sustainability, McDonald’s. “We are excited to partner with our 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.”

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