Antibiotic resistance is developing and spreading at a rate that cannot be contained by the development of new drugs.
If measures are not taken urgently to reduce global consumption of antibiotics, we could face a return to an era where simple infections can kill.
The widespread practice of routinely dosing farm animals with antibiotics is contributing to this threat.
Around half of the antibiotics produced globally are used in agriculture, with much of this being used to promote faster growth and to prevent, rather than treat, disease.
Consumers International and its Members are calling on multinational restaurant chains, including McDonald’s, KFC and Subway, to make global time-bound commitments to end the routine use of antibiotics important for human medicine across all meat and poultry supply chains.
Our report, ‘Antibiotics off the Menu’, found these three global fast food companies currently fall far short in their response to the global antibiotic resistance health risk. You can find links to the report in English, French and Spanish below.
In September, the world’s leaders will come together to discuss this public health crisis at a UN high level meeting in New York. With the eyes of the world turned to antibiotic resistance, we need to use this opportunity to tell McDonalds, KFC and Subway that they must act to:
- Define a global, time-bound action plan to phase out the routine use of antibiotics important in human medicine across all meat and poultry supply chains
- Show progress by adopting third-party auditing of their antibiotics use policies and publishing the results.
Without action against antibiotic resistance we risk not being able to treat the commonplace illnesses and infections that we rely on antibiotics to cure, such as tuberculous and pneumonia. As global brands these multinational fast food chains are in a strong position to set the standard for their industry globally and drive a decrease in the agricultural use of antibiotics, faster than legislative change alone.
Photo: Chicken Burger, by Choo Yut Shing, license CC BY-NC-SA 2.0