McDonald's China to still use antibiotics
China is not included in the first batch of countries outside
the United States where fast food giant McDonald’s is to start rolling back the use of antibiotics in chicken products.
The new global policy follows a similar move in the US market last year, and is part of efforts to curb microbial resistance to drugs and stem the rise of superbugs.
The policy applies to drugs also used in human medicine, or “highest priority critically important antimicrobials” (HPCIAs).
In 2018, HPCIAs will be eliminated in broiler chicken in Brazil, Canada, Japan, South Korea, the US and Europe, McDonald’s said. An exception will be made for the antibiotic colistin for Europe.
The policy will extend to Australia and Russia by the end of 2019, when the colistin exception for Europe will be phased out.
It will be fully implemented globally by January 2027, although the firm said: “Our goal is to have this policy implemented before this date.”
In a statement yesterday, McDonald’s China said it shares the same goal as its US headquarters in terms of reducing antibiotics.
“We have been working with government agencies, suppliers, industry associations and experts to push forward sustainable development of the farming industry in China based on the current situation,” it said.