For Immediate Release
Kate Kiely, Natural Resources Defense Council, 212-727-4592 or email@example.com
Matthew Wellington, Antibiotics Campaign Director, U.S. PIRG Education Fund, 845-591-5646, firstname.lastname@example.org
Antibiotics Off the Menu Coalition Calls on Wendy’s to End Antibiotic Overuse in Beef Supply
Groups urge burger giant to join competitors such as McDonald’s and Shake Shack in doing their part to combat drug-resistant bacteria
DUBLIN, Ohio - As Wendy’s shareholders gather for their annual meeting, a group of national consumer and public health organizations is urging the company to adopt a policy to end antibiotic overuse in its beef supply chain. The Antibiotics Off the Menu coalition is asking the third-largest burger chain in the United States to join competitors such as McDonald’s and use its buying power to help stem the rise and spread of drug-resistant bacteria.
“Wendy’s can keep its hamburgers old-fashioned, but it’s time for the company to bring its antibiotics practices into the 21st century,” said Lena Brook, Director of Food Campaigns at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “We know change is possible—we’ve seen it happen before when the fast-food restaurant industry took a stand on chicken. Wendy’s has a responsibility to its customers to use its market influence for good, before these lifesaving drugs stop working when sick people and animals need them.”
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The groups are calling on Wendy’s to adopt a time-bound antibiotic use reduction policy for all its U.S. beef supplies that prohibits the routine use of all medically important antibiotics. That policy should be verified by a neutral third-party.
The United Nations recently released a report that said without swift action to reduce antibiotic use, “deaths caused by infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria will skyrocket over the next two decades.” The report references a study that predicts that by 2050, resistant infections will claim 10 million lives worldwide every year.
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The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.