McDonald’s investors want the burger chain to remove antibiotics from all of its meat.
The Congregation of Benedictine Sisters in Boerne, Texas, has filed a shareholder proposal demanding that the company prohibit suppliers from using antibiotics on animals, CNN Money reports.
Several other McDonald’s shareholders are planning to file similar proposals to ban antibiotics, according to the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, which is leading a campaign against McDonald’s use of antibiotics.
That’s a bold request for company that feeds more than 69 million people every day, according to McDonald’s own calculations.
Farmers use antibiotics on animals to prevent sickness and disease.
But the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention warns that eating antibiotic-treated meat can lead to certain drug resistance in humans. The CDC estimates at least 2 million Americans contract antibiotic-resistant infections every year, CNN Money notes.
Changing how suppliers treat and raise animals would be a massive feat for McDonald’s.
The chain recently announced plans to shift to cage-free eggs in the US, and that change alone will take 10 years.
McDonald’s US buys about 2 billion eggs annually, which is roughly 2% of the nation’s entire egg supply.
The decision to go cage-free is the latest in a series of steps McDonald’s has recently taken to improve the quality and perception of its food.
The company also committed earlier this year to removing antibiotics from its chicken by 2017.
But the chain hasn’t announced any changes to its beef and pork supply.
“We question why this important commitment isn’t also being applied to the beef and pork they source, as hamburgers are a mainstay of McDonald’s business. This double-standard makes no sense to us,” Sr. Susan Mika of the Congregation of the Benedictine Sisters of Boerne said in a statement.
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