Daily Management Review

Antibiotic Rules Pressed to be Implemented at Yum’s KFC by Consumer Groups


Antibiotic Rules Pressed to be Implemented at Yum’s KFC by Consumer Groups
A call on the Yum Brands Inc unit to stop the routine use of antibiotics by the companies that supply its poultry was delivered by consumer groups through a petition from more than 350,000 people to the KFC fried chicken chain.
By forcing their respective meat suppliers to adopt new practices aimed at keeping vital antibiotics working, several fast-food restaurants are assuming the role of public health change agent. Such restaurants themselves have been under fire for selling unhealthy meals.
Only under the supervision and prescription of a licensed veterinarian, antibiotics important to human medicine will only be used to maintain chicken health by 2017, KFC has said. But critics say that routine use of antibiotics by its chicken suppliers is allowed by the policy.
KFC does not allow the use of such antibiotics for growth promotion, as per federal government guidance. The rise of drug-resistant "superbug" infections that kill at least 23,000 Americans each year and represent a "catastrophic threat" to global health is contributed by the routine use of antibiotics to promote growth and prevent illness in healthy farm animals, medical experts have warned.
In the United States, livestock and poultry use up more than 70 percent of medically important antibiotics.
Months ahead of schedule, chicken raised without antibiotics important to human health was switched to by McDonald's Corp since last week. Full transition to chicken raised without any antibiotics by the end of 2019 has been promised by Chick-fil-A Inc, which has surpassed KFC to become the No. 1 U.S. fast-food chicken chain by revenue.

"KFC is lagging woefully behind. Diners around the country want KFC to step up," said Lena Brook, food policy advocate with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), one of the groups delivering petitions to KFC's headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.
There were no immediate comments in the issue by Yum. The company plans to spin off its China business this year. Its china business contributes roughly 40 percent of the company's overall operating profit.
Deadlines for switching to chicken raised without antibiotics important to human health have been set for 2017 by Yum's Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurants. However that commitment has not been matched by KFC which purchases more chicken than those two chains.
"These lifesaving drugs should be used only when animals are sick," said Steven Roach, food safety program director at the Food Animals Concern Trust.
The KFC petitions were delivered by representatives of FACT and U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. Signatures were also collected by CREDO Action and the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
A day ago the company was requested to quickly phase out harmful antibiotic use in its meat supply by Yum investors submitted through a shareholder proposal.
Warnings of a post-antibiotic era in which many infections would no longer be treatable because of the overuse of antibiotics have been issued by the World Health Organization.

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