UK charity ShareAction has started an online campaign in an effort to push McDonald's to take its US antibiotic curbs global. The campaign enables people to email Steve Easterbrook, CEO of the American fast-food chain.
This follows McDonald's announcement last week that it will remove controversial ingredients such as preservatives and antibiotics from many of its products served at its US restaurants starting this month. It had said this would affect about half of its menu.
The charity which promotes Responsible Investment, now expects emails from consumers to help convince Easterbrook to stop serving meat including chicken, beef and pork that is treated with medically important antibiotics across all of its 30,000 restaurants globally. It also wants the restaurant chain to stop serving milk and dairy products from animals treated with the antibiotics across all its restaurants.
"We hope this action will encourage McDonald's to supersize their ambition," Catherine Howarth, CEO at ShareAction, was quoted as saying by Reuters. In response to ShareAction's campaign, McDonald's said: "We continue to regularly review this issue."
It cited varying practices and regulations around the world as one of the difficulties it faces to implement this ban globally.
ShareAction said that more than 70% of all antibiotics used in the US were given to livestock. In the UK, it said this number stood at 50%.
The campaign also follows Yum Brands-owned KFC coming under fire for its chicken antibiotics policy. More than 350,000 consumers had signed a petition asking the American fried-chicken chain to stop using antibiotics important to human medicine in its chicken supply.
KFC had responded that it will reduce antibiotics use in its chicken by 2017. Separately, US burger chain Wendy's too has said it will stop using chickens raised with antibiotics by next year, adding that it plans to curb the use of antibiotics across pork and beef as well.