A stunning 70 percent of all antibiotics important in human medicine in the U.S. are sold for use in animal agriculture. These lifesaving drugs are fed routinely to animals that are not sick in order to promote growth and prevent diseases that spread easily in crowded, filthy factory farm conditions. Public health agencies have declared antibiotic resistance a top health threat in the U.S. — and the rampant misuse of antibiotics in livestock production is a major cause.
Chain Reaction II is the second annual report and scorecard that grades America’s top restaurant chains’ on their policies and practices regarding antibiotics use and transparency in their meat and poultry supply chains. Read the first Chain Reaction report here.
The good news is that consumer and investor pressure has pushed twice as many companies as last year to create more responsible antibiotics policies, particularly for chicken. The bad news is that Olive Garden, KFC and 14 other chains received F grades and little progress has been made on pork and beef.
Tell Olive Garden and its parent company Darden to commit to a strong antibiotics policy.
Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Consumers Union, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Keep Antibiotics Working, and Center for Food Safety all contributed to research and writing for the Chain Reaction II report. Based on surveys from the companies and publicly available information, we created an industry scorecard that assesses company policies on antibiotics use, implementation of these policies as reflected in current meat and poultry purchasing, and transparency about antibiotics use. See Appendix 1 in the report for our survey methodology and questions.
About our work
Our campaigns this year have pressured Subway, Darden/Olive Garden and In-N-out Burger (among others) to adopt more responsible policies on antibiotic use in their meat supply. We are also supporting a broad coalition of groups that have asked Yum! Brands to enact better antibiotic policies.
These campaigns helped inspire a coalition of investors that manage $1.4 trillion in assets to send letters this year calling on 10 of the largest restaurant companies, including Darden Restaurants, to end the routine use of antibiotics important to human medicine in their global meat and poultry supply chains.
While restaurants are a key part of shifting practices on the ground, our market change campaigns are part of a broader effort to transform the way in which animals are raised and change public policy. Ultimately, we need a ban on the routine use of antibiotics in animal agriculture and a wholesale shift away from intensive confinement to well-managed, humane production systems that improve animal welfare and reduce the need for routine drugs. We also need major policy shifts in order reduce the harmful impacts of industrial animal agriculture and increase public investment in more humane, sustainable, just and ecological food production.
- Press releases related to factory farming
- Read our article on McDonald’s announcement on chicken:100% of McDonald’s Chicken Now Raised Without Antibiotics, August 3, 2016.
- Read our article that urges Darden to take action on antibiotics and other food issues: Time to Turn Olive Garden’s Good Food Rhetoric into Reality, March 30, 2016.
- Listen to Kari Hamerschlag’s Rootstock interview about Friends of the Earth’s efforts to change restaurant food.
- Learn about a shareholder resolution that asks Darden to take action on antibiotics. Darden’s annual meeting is on Friday, September 29.
|Chain Reaction: How Top Restaurants Rate on Reducing Use of Antibiotics in Their Meat Supply
Chain Reaction is the first annual report and scorecard that grades America’s top restaurant chains’ on their policies and practices regarding antibiotics use and transparency in their meat and poultry supply chains. All but five companies received a failing grade.
Read the press release.
In order to move forward and to shift production practices on the ground and give consumers healthy, sustainable, humane food, we really need to focus on the market where people are getting their food. – Kari Hamerschlag, deputy director of Food and Technology