McDonald’s USA Moving Toward Antibiotic-Free Chicken, Hormone-Free Milk

McDonald’s USA will work with its poultry supply chain to eliminate the use of human antibiotics in chickens

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

McDonald’s poultry providers will phase out the use of antibiotics over the next two years.

McDonald’s USA is moving toward the sourcing of chicken that has not been treated with antibiotics “important in human medicine,” the company announced in a press release on Wednesday, March 4.

The transition, which will affect some 14,000 domestic McDonald’s locations, is scheduled for completion within the next two years.

Farmers within the McDonald’s supply chain, however, will continue to use ionophores, an animal-specific antibiotic that is used to increase feed efficiency.

In recent years, groups like the World Health Organization, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned against the increasing dangers of using human antibiotics to treat livestock, a widespread practice that has created increasingly more powerful strains of viruses and pathogens.

As The New York Times points out, given that McDonald’s is one of the country’s largest buyers of chicken, the transition will likely have a “major impact” on the poultry farming industry.

Additionally, McDonald’s USA also announced that, later this year, it will begin offering low-fat white milk and fat-free chocolate milk from cows not treated with the artificial growth hormone rBST. 

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