Wendy's Moves Forward on Antibiotics, Others Stand Still

We can still stop the slow-moving runaway train that is the antibiotic resistance crisis.


Lena Brook, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)

July 14, 2021


Global health experts have long considered antibiotic resistance one of the top health threats in the world; that alarm bell is ringing even louder now as we live through the COVID-19 pandemic and the havoc it has wreaked on our health, lives, and economies.


The antibiotic resistance health crisis is unfolding and growing alongside the COVID-19 pandemic. If urgent action isn’t taken now to stop the overuse of antibiotics, the annual global death toll from antibiotic resistant infections is expected to exceed 10 million people by 2050. Given that nearly two-thirds of medically important antibiotics in the United States are sold for use on food animals rather than human medicine, NRDC and our allies have been laser-focused on reforms in this sector.


Since 2015, NRDC and our allies in the Antibiotics Off the Menu coalition have published the Chain Reaction report, which rates the antibiotic use policies and practices of the top U.S. restaurant chains. Dozens of commitments from these companies in the last six years—including from prominent players like McDonald’s, Subway, Starbucks, and more—helped transform how these drugs are used in the U.S. chicken sector. But for too long, the progress stopped here. Few companies were committing to reducing antibiotic use in their beef and pork supplies. Meanwhile, according to FDA data, sales of medically important drugs for use on cows and pigs are rising.


Too Many Restaurant Chains Continue to Fail ...


Urgent Need for Federal Leadership ...


More Food for Thought ...


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