The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Stefanie Spear,, 216-387-1609

A Big Push in the Right Direction' -- European Parliament Approves Restrictions on Use of Antibiotics on Farm Animals

In an effort to halt the spread of deadly antibiotic resistant "superbugs," the European parliament

Oakland, California

In an effort to halt the spread of deadly antibiotic resistant "superbugs," the European parliament approved Thursday restrictions on the use of antibiotics in animals raised for food.

The legislation goes far beyond current U.S. protections. Effective in 2022, the legislation bans the use of antibiotics important to human medicine in animals. It also prohibits the use of animal-specific antibiotics without a veterinary prescription; where antibiotics are used, veterinarians must provide data on their use.

The reach of this EU decision is immense. It will directly impact major international fast food chains that operate in Europe since foods imported to the EU will be required to meet these new standards.

Christy Spees, environmental health program manager of As You Sow, made the following statement:

"This is a big push in the right direction. This policy will protect the public from antibiotic resistance while providing leadership for other countries and the food industry."

As You Sow has successfully worked with major U.S. food companies to enact policies to end or dramatically reduce the routine use of antibiotics on supplier farms including Tyson, Hormel, KFC, Wendy's, Restaurant Brands International, and McDonald's. Without policy action in the U.S., corporate action to reduce use of antibiotics remains incredibly important.

As You Sow is the nation's non-profit leader in shareholder advocacy. Founded in 1992, we harness shareholder power to create lasting change that benefits people, planet, and profit. Our mission is to promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies.