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Mcdonalds to end antibiotics meat

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Top Stories - Reuters

McDonald's to End Growth Antibiotic Use in Meat
Thu Jun 19,12:53 PM ET Add Top Stories - Reuters to My Yahoo!

CHICAGO (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp. on Thursday told its meat suppliers to phase out growth-promoting antibiotics that are also used in human medicine, prompted by concerns that overuse could reduce the effectiveness of the drugs in people.

McDonald's, the largest fast-food chain in the world, uses more than 2.5 billion pounds of chicken, beef, and pork annually.

McDonald's said its new policy calls for the elimination of antibiotic drugs some producers have used to help animals grow faster. It sets standards for its direct suppliers and encourages indirect suppliers to take similar steps.

"We take seriously our obligation to understand the emerging science of antibiotic resistance," the company, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, said in a statement.

Two major U.S. meat producers that supply McDonald's, Tyson Foods Inc. and privately held agribusiness conglomerate Cargill Inc., were part of a coalition that created the policy, McDonald's said.

The policy comes amid heightened consumer awareness over the use of additives in food production, including a backlash against genetically modified crops.

McDonald's said its antibiotics policy for food animals was developed with help by Environmental Defense, an environmental advocacy organization, and Elanco Animal Health, an animal pharmaceutical company.

Also participating were Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital physician Thomas O'Brien of Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and Oxford University animal welfare expert Marian Dawkins.

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