McDonald’s – the world’s largest fast food chain – today announced that it is committing to serving chicken raised without antibiotics used in human medicine in all of its U.S. restaurants within two years.
While there is no conclusive evidence that the use of drugs in animals has any impact on human resistance to these drugs, the fear mongers at NRDC are all excited about his announcement. Jonathan Kaplan, director of NRDC’s Food and Agriculture program, issued the following statement: “This is a landmark announcement in the fight to keep life-saving antibiotics working for us and our children.”
What NRDC, and most likely most media reports. will forget to say is that farmers who raise chickens to sell to McDonald’s will still be using antibiotics. They will use these appropriate drugs when the animals get sick. The folks at McDonalds are not stupid. They want their suppliers to raise healthy animals, and that means using safe drugs to cure then when they are sick. But the folks at NRDC do want animals to get sick. According to Kaplan, “Unfortunately, the McDonald’s statement does not include a ban on the use of all medically-important antibiotics in routine disease prevention, a practice known to contribute to antibiotic resistance.” Yup, these clowns actually want the animals you eat to get sick.
NRDC has misinformed consumers that the use of all antibiotics in livestock is bad and a threat to human health. Not only is this NOT true, it poses a food safety risk to people and a health risk to animals. McDonald’s is serious about the quality and safety of the food it serves. The livestock industry has, for years, been using a science-based approach to reduce drug use in livestock production without compromising the health of the animals. The ban called for by NRDC is irresponsible and would lead to meat from sick animals ending up in your “Happy Meal.”