February 24, 2016
President Lynsi Snyder
13502 Hamburger Lane
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
Dear Ms. Snyder,
We write you as a coalition representing millions of supporters to express our concern about the overuse of antibiotics in livestock production, and ask you to join restaurant industry leaders in addressing this problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rise of bacteria resistant to commonly relied-upon antibiotics is one of our most pressing public health threats. Each year in the U.S., two million people contract antibiotic-resistant infections and 23,000 die as a result. Due to worsening resistance, future organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy, dialysis, and other medical procedures that rely on effective antibiotics are at risk. While overuse of antibiotics in human medicine is a major contributing factor, the nation’s health experts agree that feeding low doses of antibiotics to animals that are not sick contributes to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Increasingly, consumers are asking for meat raised without the routine use of antibiotics, hormones and other drugs used in industrial meat production.
As a significant purchaser of meat, we believe that In-N-Out has a major opportunity and responsibility to address this growing public health threat. Our groups call on In-N-Out to make commitments on antibiotic stewardship by:
Defining a time-bound action plan to phase out the routine use of antibiotics (i.e., for growth promotion and disease prevention) across all of the company’s meat supply chains. Antibiotics should be available to treat animals diagnosed with an illness.
Acting now to end the use of medically-important antibiotics in the production of beef sold in your company’s restaurants except as necessary to treat animals diagnosed with an illness.
Adopting third-party audit program of your company’s antibiotics use policy and publicly benchmarking results that show progress in meeting the goals described above.
Companies like In-N-Out can make a vital contribution to stemming antibiotic resistance by disallowing routine antibiotics use among suppliers.
In-N-Out should also play a role in encouraging better management practices on farms. Reduced crowding, more hygienic conditions, improved diets, and longer weaning periods, among other changes, can improve animal welfare and minimize the need for prophylactic drugs on farms. Sourcing from well managed grass-fed livestock operations that raise meat without antibiotics or other growth promoting drugs is another way to address the antibiotics crisis while providing healthful, more sustainable and humane options to your company’s customers. In-N-Out’s regional leadership can encourage high standards of animal health and welfare from its suppliers, and contribute to the phase out of all antibiotics and other animal drugs, including hormones, and beta-agonists, for purposes other than the treatment and care of sick animals.
Consumers are demanding meat and poultry raised without routine antibiotics and your company’s peers are responding.
With 70% of medically-important antibiotics in the U.S. sold for livestock use, we can’t fix the problem of antibiotic resistance unless the livestock sector and large meat buyers like In-N-Out are part of the solution.
As part of your company’s commitment to safeguarding antibiotics, we also urge In-N-Out to become more transparent by posting online information about its policies and the ingredients in each menu item as other major fast food chains do.
We appreciate your attention to our concerns.
- Nancy Sudak, Co-CEO, Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine
- Robyn O’Brien, Founder/Executive Director, AllergyKids Foundation
- Emma Rose, Campaign/Lobbying/Communications Coordinator, Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics
- Laura Rogers, Antibiotics Resistance Action Center, George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health
- Diane Brown, Executive Director, Arizona PIRG
- Adele Amodeo, Executive Director, California Public Health Association – North
- Jason Pfeifle, Public Health Advocate, CALPIRG Education Fund
- Charles Margulis, Media Director, Center for Environmental Health
- Rebecca Spector, West Coast Director, Center for Food Safety
- Patricia Buck, Founder and Executive Director, Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention
- Maya Rockeymoore, President and CEO, Center for Global Policy Solutions
- Michael Jacobson, PhD, President, Center for Science in the Public Interest
- Brent Newell, Legal Director, Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment
- Evan Preston, Director, ConnPIRG
- Elisa Odabashian, Director of West Coast Office, Consumers Union
- Rachelle Wenger, Director, Public Policy & Community Advocacy, Dignity Health
- Jim Slama, President, FamilyFarmed
- Steve Roach, Food Safety Program Director, Food Animals Concern Trust
- Joann Lo, Executive Director, Food Chain Workers Alliance
- Dave Murphy, Founder/Executive Director, Food Democracy Now!
- Vani Hari, Author and Activist, FoodBabe.com
- Kari Hamerschlag, Senior Program Manager, Friends of the Earth
- Carrie Balkcom, Executive Director, Global Animal Partnership, Global Animal Partnership
- Eloise Karlatiras, Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition
- Tim Reed, Executive Director, Health Action International
- Stacia Clinton, National Program Director, Health Care Without Harm
- Abe Scarr, Director, Illinois PIRG
- Jamie Harvie, Executive Director, Institute for a Sustainable Future
- Shefali Sharma, Director, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
- Steve Gilbert, Director and Founder, Institute of Neurotoxicology and Neurology Disorders
- Bob Martin, Director of Food System Policy, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future
- Richard Wood, Steering Committee Chair, Keep Antibiotics Working
- Nancy Utesch, Founder & Farmer, Kewaunee CARES
- Brent Wilkes, National Executive Director, League of United Latin American Citizens
- Emily Scarr, Director, Maryland PIRG
- Janet Domenitz, Executive Director, MASSPIRG
- Maria Powell, Midwest Environment Justice Organization
- Monifa Bandele, Senior Campaign Director, MomsRising
- Rudy Arredondo, President/CEO/Founder, National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association
- Jean Silver-Isenstadt, Executive Director, National Physicians Alliance
- Elizabeth Henderson, Policy Committee Co-Chair, NOFA – NY
- Judy Hatcher, Executive Director, Pesticide Action Network North America
- Catherine Thomasson, MD, President, Physicians for Social Responsibility
- Robert M. Gould, MD, President, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Bay Area Chapter
- Michael Dimock, President, Roots of Change
- Steve Heilig, Associate Executive Director, San Francisco Medical Society
- Toni Liquori, Founder/Executive Director, School Food Focus
- Ted Schettler MD, MPH, Science Director, Science and Environmental Health Network
- Dan Rosenthal, Sopraffina
- Kyle Tafuri, Sustainability Advisor, The Deidre Imus Environmental Health Center
- Bill Wenzel, Antibiotics Program Director, U.S. PIRG
- Buffalo Bruce, Staff Ecologist, Western Nebraska Resources Council