On 15 March 2016, consumer groups around the world added their voice to campaigns calling on the world’s largest fast food companies to make global commitments to stop serving meat from animals routinely given antibiotics used in human medicine. The overuse of antibiotics is creating highly resistant superbugs. Without urgent action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which important medicines stop working and common infections and minor injuries can once again kill. Visit the campaign page here.
With almost 100,000 restaurants worldwide, McDonald’s, Subway and KFC are in a position to use their huge buying power to make a big difference to the global supply chain.
Ourreport ‘Antibiotics off the Menu’ published on 25 February 2016 found that McDonald’s had made a commitment to stop sourcing chicken routinely given antibiotics in the USA and Canada. Subway had committed to stop serving meat from any animal given antibiotics in the USA. KFC had made no meaningful commitments anywhere.
Amanda Long, Consumers International Director General said:
“This World Consumer Rights Day is about calling for major global brands to act responsibly. Antibiotic resistance is spreading in every region of the world. Left unchecked, antimicrobial resistance will kill 10 million a year by 2050.
Given the scale of the global public health crisis the world is facing due to antibiotic resistance, making partial commitments is inadequate. KFC’s efforts have been token and McDonald’s and Subway must go much further.
As global brands these fast food chains are in a strong position to set the standard for their industry globally and drive a decrease in agricultural use of antibiotics, faster than legislative change alone."
ACTION TAKEN AROUND THE WORLD
Using the campaigning tool Thunderclap in English and Spanish, our message “McDonald’s, KFC & Subway: Help tackle #antibioticresistance health crisis – get #AntibioticsOffTheMenu” was posted and shared on Facebook and Twitter throughout the world. Below is a snapshot of some of our members campaigns and events from across the globe.
UFC Que Chosir created a report card on antibiotic resistance in France and sent it to over 50 food producers, distributors and fast food companies.
The Hong Kong Consumer Council published the results of an investigation into the policies of fast food chains, meat producers and retailers.
VZBV issued a press release to the German media stressing the overuse of antibiotics in livestock as a major health risk.
IDEC wrote a letter to KFC in Brazil calling on the company to introduce commitments to reduce antibiotic use in meat production.
The Consumers Association of Bangladesh held a seminar with the Minister of Commerce and appeared on televised talk shows.
FFC Thailand organised a flash mob outside several fast food restaurants in Bangkok to raise awareness about antibiotic resistance.
The Consumers Association of Mali planned radio programmes aimed at educating consumers about the antibiotic resistance crisis.
The National Consumer Association of St Lucia organised a march, a public road show and radio and television debates on the issue.
Joint Statement: Consumers International calls for COVID-19 response to focus on global consumer protection and empowerment
Consumers International members in 100 countries are calling for a focus on the protection and empowerment of individuals in the marketplace based on consumer rights, and for coordinated strategies across nations and intergovernmental bodies to build fair, safe, resilient and sustainable economies through consumer protection.