Statement on McDonald’s shareholder resolution to eliminate the routine use of medically important antibiotics from the company’s meat supply chain

Media Contacts
Matthew Wellington

Statement from Matt Wellington, Program Director, Antibiotics Program at U.S. PIRG Education Fund:

Two years ago, McDonald’s staked out a leadership position among chain restaurants when it committed to stop the overuse of antibiotics in its chicken supply. Impressively, now, nearly one third of the company’s shareholders that voted on a recent proposal say it’s time for the company to do more to address antibiotic use. 

At McDonald’s annual shareholder meeting this week shareholders voted on a proposal to eliminate the routine use of medically important antibiotics from the company’s entire meat supply chain. Of those that voted, nearly 30% were in favor of the resolution.

A significant number of McDonald’s shareholders have made clear that the company should not purchase meat from farms whose practices threaten the efficacy of our life-saving antibiotics. 

More than two years ago McDonald’s announced, and has since met, a commitment to no longer serve chicken raised on antibiotics important to human medicine. While the company’s past actions are worthy of applause, the overuse of antibiotics on all types of farm animals is a problem, creating breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacteria — aka superbugs.

This strong shareholder engagement, consumer support, and the urgency of the health threat should signal to CEO Steve Easterbrook that it’s time to expand McDonald’s commitment to protect antibiotics.

The golden arches should eliminate routine antibiotic use from its entire meat supply chain. When and if McDonald’s takes this step, it will have a profound effect on the marketplace. 

For more information, please contact Matthew Wellington, Program Director the U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) Education Fund Antibiotics Program at [email protected] or 845-591-5646.