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Study: Majority Of Major U.S. Food Chains Still Serving Meat With Antibiotics

The Friends Of Earth, an organization that self-identifies itself as the "world's largest grassroots environmental network," has released a new report that claims 20 out of 25 major fast-food chains are likely serving meat from animals that have been dosed with antibiotics.

According to Reuters, Subway, Starbucks, KFC and Domino's Pizza all got a failing grade in the "Chain Reaction" study, which was released today.

Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread got "A" grades for their policies that limit antibiotics in the meat they sell. Chick-fil-A, which is progressing towards that goal, received a "B," while McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts earned "C" grades; both of those eateries have long-range goals to eliminate food supplies that include medically-important antibiotics for humans.

Grades in the study were based on public statements by the fast food companies, their responses to surveys and correspondence. Companies that didn't respond were given a failing grade.

The study was done because antibiotics, which are used by humans, are also given to farm animals that supply meat and dairy products. This raises concerns that the antibiotics in food may be contributing to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, notes the Centers for Disease Control.

The "Chain Reaction" report was drawn from information culled by Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Consumers Union, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Keep Antibiotics Working and Center for Food Safety.

Kari Hamerschlag, a lead author of the report, said in a Friends of the Earth press release:

From bacon cheeseburgers to chicken nuggets, most meat served by America's chain restaurants comes from animals raised in industrial-scale facilities, where they are routinely fed antibiotics to prevent disease that is easily spread in crowded, unsanitary, stressful conditions.

It’s time for the U.S. restaurant industry to take leadership and address the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance by working with their meat and poultry suppliers to eliminate the routine use of antibiotics and improve overall conditions in U.S. meat production.

Sources: Reuters, Friends of the EarthCenters for Disease Control / Image Credit:


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