McDonald's Shareholder Calls For Stronger Steps On Antibiotics

A group of nuns that owns shares of McDonald's Corp. last week asked the fast food giant to dramatically curtail the use of antibiotics in its supply chain.

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A group of nuns that owns shares of McDonald's Corp. last week asked the fast food giant to dramatically curtail the use of antibiotics in its supply chain.

The Congregation of Benedictine Sisters in Boerne, Texas last week filed a shareholder proposal calling on McDonald's to add beef and pork to previously announced plans to end purchases of chickens raised with antibiotics.

Critics of antibiotic use in food animals blame the drugs for an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and McDonald's is one of several companies to announce steps to reduce their use of antibiotics.

The sisters previously crafted a similar resolution, only to withdraw it at the company's May shareholders meeting after McDonald's issued its plans for chicken suppliers.

Last week, however, the group said curbing antibiotics in only one of its products represented a "double standard."

"We question why this important commitment isn't also being applied to the beef and pork they source, as hamburgers are a mainstay of McDonald's business," Sr. Susan Mika told CNN.

The proposal would accept the use of antibiotics to treat sick animals, according to reports.

The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility — of which the Benedictine sisters are a member — is organizing the shareholder campaign. Other groups are expected to file similar petitions.

McDonald's did not comment in media reports regarding the filing.

The company received a "C" grade for its antibiotics policies in a recent report by advocacy groups; it was one of just five large chains to avoid a failing grade.

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