The McDonald’s hamburger is an icon of the modern world, and billions have been served worldwide since it was first introduced 76 years ago.
But one detail has been missing from this contemporary legend: the gross amount of antibiotics that have been pumped into the famous McDonald’s beef patty.
Scientists are warning that we’re rapidly approaching the “post-antibiotic era”. As antibiotics are overused, bacteria are becoming increasingly immune. It’s downright dangerous. And fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s are feeding the crisis.
Tell McDonald’s to stop contributing to antibiotic resistance by cutting the use of medically important antibiotics in its global beef, pork and poultry supply chains.
McDonald’s has been under public pressure to change its supply chain before.
After losing unhappy customers due to antibiotics in its chicken supply, McDonald’s cleaned up its menu in its U.S. restaurants and banned chicken raised on antibiotics that are important to human medicine. This shows that change is possible -- but it won’t happen without public pressure.
Now we need to see that change for beef and pork too, and beyond just U.S. restaurants. We need a commitment to reduce antibiotics for all of the animals involved in the behemoth McDonald’s supply chain, and for franchises worldwide.
We can’t even explain how important this is -- antibiotic resistance is a growing threat with consequences for our ability to survive even the most common illnesses. McDonald’s is worth a staggering $39 billion and operates 36,000 stores all over the world -- but its cultural impact as the corporate face of hamburgers and fast food is much more significant. Getting an international, public-facing corporation like McDonald’s to stop the overuse of antibiotics would send shockwaves through the industry.
We know McDonald’s responds to public pressure because we’ve fought it before -- and won. Over 200,000 SumOfUs members demanded that McDonald’s stop participating in global deforestation by rewriting its palm oil policy. And that’s exactly what it did. Now we need to do it again -- our health depends on it.
McDonald’s: Put antibiotics out to pasture. Commit to higher standards across the board. Commit to cut medicated meat from the menu.