McDonald's Is Not Clowning Around With Superbugs

The company said it is ultimately focused on replacing the use of antibiotics with long-term solutions to prevent diseases and protect animal health and welfare.

To this end, McDonald’s has made allowances for the immediate treatment of animals by veterinarians who deem critically important antimicrobials are the best option.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently established the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rule, which provides veterinarians with a framework for authorizing the use of medically important antimicrobials in feed when needed for specific animal health purposes.

Grade ‘F’

Meanwhile, McDonald’s latest commitment to the CDC’s AMR Challenge follows an October Chain Reaction report, which placed its lowest grade of ‘F’ on the iconic company for failing to have a public antibiotic use policy.

The survey, conducted by several public interest groups, including the U.S. PIRG, Consumer Reports, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, placed its lowest grade of ‘F’ on the iconic company for failing to have a public antibiotic use policy.

The Chain Reaction survey results showed that only two chains, Shake Shack and BurgerFi, source beef raised without the routine use of antibiotics. Apart from Wendy’s, a total of 21 companies reside alongside McDonald’s as failures, including Burger King, White Castle, Hardee’s, Jack in the Box, Krystal and Five Guys.

According to Chain Reaction, Wendy’s currently sources 15% of its beef from producers that have cut the use of one medically important antibiotic – tylosin – by 20%. The report added that this “modest step earned Wendy’s a ‘D-’ in this scorecard.”

A history of illnesses

McDonald’s beefed-up effort to fight AMR also trails a multi-state outbreak earlier in 2018 of Cyclosporiasis illnesses.

The Cyclosporiasis parasite has been linked in the U.S. to imported produce that has been contaminated with feces. 

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Disclosure: The author does not hold any positions in the financial instruments referenced in the materials provided.

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