McDonald's has a chance to help save thousands of lives — but only if it follows through on its commitment to fighting antibiotic resistance.
Back in 2018, PIRG helped convince McDonald's to make a plan for cutting down on the overuse of medically important antibiotics in its beef supply chain. Antibiotic-resistant "superbugs," which experts estimate may kill as many as 162,000 Americans every year, are becoming more common in part due to these medicines being used irresponsibly on factory farms. To help fight this growing public health crisis, McDonald's committed to setting antibiotics reduction targets for its beef supply chain by the end of 2020. But more than halfway through 2021, the fast food giant had yet to follow through.
“McDonald’s can send such a strong message to the beef industry that it's time to stop overusing life-saving antibiotics by cutting use in its own beef supply chain," said Lydia Palumbo, Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics campaign associate with U.S. PIRG Education Fund. "But missing its deadline for doing so sends the exact wrong message.”
Speaking on U.S. PIRG Education Fund's Sept. 30 webinar on the subject, Sameer Patel, M.D. MPH, added: "One thing we should learn from the COVID-19 pandemic is that an infectious disease is everybody’s problem."
Learn more about our campaign to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms.