By Tom Polansek and Lisa Baertlein
CHICAGO/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Restaurant chains Burger King and Tim Hortons plan to change to chicken raised with out antibiotics thought-about “critically important” to human drugs, their proprietor stated on Wednesday, making it the newest firm to ditch the medicine over health considerations.
Restaurant Brands International Inc, which owns each chains, stated it goals to make the change in U.S. shops in 2017 and in Canada in 2018.
An estimated 70 % of antibiotics which are necessary to preventing human infections and making certain the security of invasive procedures corresponding to surgical procedures are bought to be used in meat and dairy manufacturing.
Concern has been rising amongst scientists, public health specialists, shoppers and shareholders that the overuse of such medicine is contributing to rising numbers of life-threatening human infections from antibiotic-resistant micro organism dubbed “superbugs.”
“We believe that it is important to reduce the use of antibiotics important for human medicine in order to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics in both veterinary and human medicine,” Restaurant Brands stated.
The firm didn’t instantly reply to requests for additional remark.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at the very least 2 million individuals in the United States are contaminated with drug-resistant micro organism annually and that 23,000 die as a direct outcome.
Officials with health advocacy group As You Sow stated they’ve been working with Restaurant Brands on its antibiotics coverage for greater than a yr. In February, the group withdrew a shareholder proposal calling on the corporate to develop a stricter coverage after Restaurant Brands agreed to tackle the difficulty earlier than the top of 2016.
Austin Wilson, environmental health program supervisor for As You Sow, stated the corporate’s new plan represented progress. Still, he stated it was “disappointing, since it is weaker than the standards set in the last year or two by Tyson, McDonald’s and Wendy’s.”
McDonald’s Corp has already eliminated all antibiotics essential to human drugs from its U.S. chicken provide chain, and Wendy’s Co stated in August it might give up utilizing chickens raised with antibiotics essential to human health by 2017.
Tyson Foods Inc, the most important U.S. chicken processor, has stated it intends to cease utilizing all antibiotics essential to human drugs to increase its chickens in 2017.
Restaurant Brands is simply eliminating medicine which are “the most critical in human medicine” from its provide, Wilson stated.
Yum Brands Inc’s KFC stands out because the final main chicken chain to make a transfer on curbing antibiotic use.
KFC has much more eating places than some other fast-food chicken chain and is second in gross sales behind Chick-fil-A, which has dedicated to ending its change to chicken raised with none antibiotics by the top of 2019.
As You Sow has filed a shareholder proposal requesting that Yum part out dangerous antibiotics from its meat provide in a bid to immediate modifications at KFC.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein and Tom Polansek; Editing by Frances Kerry and Lisa Shumaker)