McDonald’s plan to reduce antibiotics in beef supplies wins advocacy group’s praise

The Chicago company received a “C” rating this year, up from an “F” last year.

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McDonald’s has won grudging praise in a new report from groups aiming to eliminate the routine use of antibiotics in beef production.

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McDonald’s has won grudging praise in a just-released report from groups aiming to eliminate the routine use of antibiotics in beef production.

The Chicago-based fast food Goliath earned a “C” rating this year, up from an “F” in the previous year, according to the report titled: “Chain Reaction; How top restaurants rate on reducing antibiotic use in their beef supplies.

“So they (McDonald’s) got our greatest moo-ver award because they announced last December a worldwide policy to reduce antibiotic use in their beef supply chain,” said Abe Scarr, director of Illinois Public Interest Research Group, a nonpartisan consumer advocacy group.

The national PIRG organization partnered with six other groups to produce the report.

Scarr was speaking outside a Wendy’s restaurant in the West Town neighborhood, noting the restaurant chain had only earned a “D-plus” grade.

“They are still dragging their feet in announcing a time-bound commitment to reduce beef (treated with antibiotics) from their supply chain,” Scarr said. “They’ve taken very incremental action.”

The overuse of antibiotic-treated beef can breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can lead to deadly infections in humans, Scarr said.

“Large beef purchasers have the power to compel their sources to change their practices,” Scarr said. “We’ve seen this happen with the chicken industry already, and it’s time for it to happen with beef.”

Chipotle and Panera Bread topped the list of fast food restaurant chains when it comes to best practices regarding antibiotics and beef, with Chipotle earning an “A,” and Panera getting an “A minus,” according to the report.

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