In-N-Out Burger commits to eliminating overuse of antibiotics in beef
Public interest groups welcome news, press for timeline and detailed policy
OAKLAND, CALIF. — In a surprising departure from past policies,In-N-Out Burger publicly indicated last week that it is committed to serving “beef that is not raised with antibiotics important to human medicine.” The fast food chain made the statement in response to a Reuters reporter’s question regarding a letter by more than 50 public interest groups pressing the company to stop serving beef raised with routine antibiotics. Groups leading this campaign include CALPIRG Education Fund, Friends of the Earth, Center for Food Safety, Consumers Union, author and activist Vani Hari, and the Antibiotics Resistance Action Center.
“We’re thrilled that In-N-Out is responding so quickly to consumer demand,” said Jason Pfeifle, public health advocate with CALPIRG Education Fund. “If In-N-Out follows through on these commitments, we are optimistic that other fast food restaurants will follow.”
“In-N-Out Burger’s recent statement is an important step forward,” said Kari Hamerschlag, senior program manager at Friends of the Earth. “Now, the company needs to provide the public with a timeline showing that it’s serious about eliminating everyday use of antibiotics in its beef production.”
In a letter sent late last week, the coalition asked the company to clarify its antibiotics policy by publishing it on their website, including a clear timeline with key benchmarks for progress. The groups also asked the company to adopt a third-party audit to independently verify that the company is making progress toward phasing out routine antibiotics use from its meat supply chain.
“We are also urging the company to offer a sustainable, grass-fed beef option as the best way to quickly respond to customer demand for beef raised without routine antibiotics and other drugs,” said author and activist Vani Hari.
In response to other fast chain restaurants’ policies on antibiotics, livestock producers have maintained that they need antibiotics to treat sick animals.
“Our groups have emphasized to In-N-Out Burger that its policy should allow its producers to treat sick animals with antibiotics when diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian,” said Rebecca Spector, west coast director with Center for Food Safety.
Jason Pfeifle, CALPIRG Education Fund, (626) 221-4925, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kari Hamerschlag, Friends of the Earth, (510) 207-7257, email@example.com
Communications contact: Kate Colwell, Friends of the Earth, (202) 222-0744, firstname.lastname@example.org