Report: Most Restaurants Fail to Stop Antibiotic Overuse in Their Beef Supplies
Most top restaurant chains in the United States have failed to adopt policies to stop the overuse of antibiotics by their beef suppliers, according to the sixth annual Chain Reaction scorecard released today by six major consumer, public health and environmental organizations. One notable exception is Wendy’s, which announced a new policy this spring to end all routine use of medically important antibiotics in the company’s beef supplies by 2030. While Wendy’s managed to boost its grade level, most companies surveyed reported no progress in 2020 on their antibiotics commitments. Most notably, McDonald’s, the world’s largest beef buyer, failed to meet its own internal deadline to set antibiotic reduction targets by the end of 2020.
“As the last year has clearly shown, prompt, effective action can greatly reduce the impact of a public health threat and inaction can make things much worse. Antibiotic resistance is one of these threats.” said Steven Roach, lead author and Safe and Healthy Food Program Director at Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT). “We applaud Wendy’s commitment on antibiotic use in beef and urge the company to implement its pledge as quickly as possible.We also need much broader action from the beef and restaurant sectors if we want to stop the urgent public health crisis of antibiotic resistance.”
The Chain Reaction Report was produced by Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT), the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University (ARAC), Center for Food Safety (CFS), Consumer Reports, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and U.S. PIRG Education Fund.