Excerpt from: CREDO Action
The gross overuse of non-therapeutic antibiotics in the production of animals raised for meat has given rise to such dangerous antibiotic-resistant superbugs that even last-resort treatments are now ineffective.
The fast food industry – which sells billions of pounds of meat each year raised with antibiotics – is taking notice of this growing public health threat. Just recently, after major public pressure, the fast food chain In-N-Out Burger publicly committed to removing meat raised with routine antibiotics from its restaurants.1
Other major chains including McDonald’s, KFC and Subway have made similar public promises for some meat, like chicken, but have not committed to fully removing all antibiotic-raised meat from their restaurants. It’s time we ramp up the pressure on these major fast food chains to follow In-N-Out’s lead now.
The World Health Organization has called the threat of these superbugs “devastating” to global public health,2 and according to a recent study, if antibiotic resistance continues to rise, more people could die from these superbugs by 2050 than die from cancer annually.3
Agriculture and livestock production accounts for nearly 80 percent of all antibiotic resistance in the United States, and according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least two million Americans per year become ill from antibiotic-resistant infections, and at least 23,000 die from them.4
But despite public outcry, the use of human antibiotics in livestock is still prevalent. These drugs are routinely used to promote growth and prevent disease due to filthy and overcrowded conditions. And in each case, their use provides opportunity for bacteria to develop resistance. These bacteria can then go on to infect humans, leaving us with fewer options to successfully fight infections.
That In-N-Out has committed to do the right thing is proof that public pressure works. If we can convince the rest of the industry to source meat that doesn’t contribute to the rise of these dangerous superbugs, it will go a long way to helping curb this serious threat to our health and safety.
- The petition to McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, KFC and Subway reads:
“Antibiotic-resistant superbugs have become a massive public health crisis due to the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. Stop contributing to the rise of resistant bacteria and discontinue serving meat raised with antibiotics in your restaurants.”
- Go to the link below to sign the petition:
Thanks for all you do.
Josh Nelson, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Twilight Greenaway, “In-N-Out Burger beefs up its promise of antibiotic-free meat,” The Guardian, March 6, 2016
“Drug resistant superbugs a serious threat worldwide,” says WHO, Reuters, April 30, 2014
Beth Gardiner, “Taking on the Superbugs,” The New York Times, October 19, 2015
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