more fast food company will reduce the amount of antibiotics in its burgers.
In-N-Out Burger recently announced it will eliminate antibiotics important to
human medicine from its beef supply chain.
company is committed to beef that is not raised with antibiotics important to
human medicine and we've asked our suppliers to accelerate their progress
towards establishing antibiotic alternatives," Keith Brazeau, vice president of
quality for Irvine, California-based In-N-Out Burger told Reuters.
recent statement committing to eliminate medically important antibiotics from
its beef production is a dramatic and welcomed departure from the company's
earlier stance," Kari Hamerschlag, Senior Program Manager, Food and Technology
Program told Naturally Savvy. "We continue to let the company know we would
like its policy to allow for the treatment of sick animals–and we are asking
them to provide a sustainable, humanely raised, grass-fed alternative on the
menu the best way forward for moving quickly to implement this policy."
commitment, if followed through "will force significant change in in its supply
chain on the West Coast," Hamerschlag said. It would force mega feedlot suppliers
"to focus on improving conditions in order to prevent the animals from getting
sick in the absence of routine antibiotics."
Burger, a California-based fast food chain with over 300 restaurants in several
western states, became a target of a campaign by advocacy groups. The coalition
of over 50 public interest groups sent a letter to the company. "I urge you to commit to only serving meat at In-N-Out
restaurants that is raised without the routine use of antibiotics," the letter
In a letter this week, the coalition acknowledged In-N-Out's statement on antibiotics in
its beef supply chain. "We are heartened and encouraged by In-N-Out Burger's
recent statement," the letter stated.
letter also urged In-N-Out to take further steps, including:
- Publish its antibiotics policy
on its website, with a detailed description of the alternatives to routine
antibiotic use that the company will urge its suppliers to adopt.
- Create a concrete timeline for
phasing out routine antibiotics use for all of its meat supply chains.
- Act to end the use of
medically-important antibiotics in beef production in its company's restaurants
except for what is necessary to treat sick animals.
- Adopt a third-party audit
program of its antibiotics policy and publicly benchmark the results that show
progress in meeting targets.
"By committing to beef raised without routine antibiotics, In-N-Out
has sent a signal to the beef industry that it's time to do the right thing for
public health," Jason Pfeifle, Public Health Advocate, CALPIRG Education Fund, told Naturally Savvy. "Now it's
important for the company to set a clear timeline to help move the beef
industry further in that direction."
Removing the routine use of antibiotics from beef production is
important because antibiotic resistance is a big problem. At least two million
people every year in the U.S. become infected with bacteria that are antibiotic
resistant, and at least 23,000 people die as a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The World Health Organization attributes the problem of antibiotic resistance, in part,
to the "inappropriate use" of antibiotics among livestock.