McDonalds should beef up protections for our antibiotics

Of the many luxuries that we’ve become accustomed to in modernity, from automobiles and cellphones to sliced bread and Shamwows, perhaps the most important one is at risk. Many antibiotics and life saving medicines have been around for less than a century and have served to treat millions of people with bacterial infections, saving countless lives.

Now these lives-saving drugs are at risk.

Over time, the overuse of antibiotics breeds super-bacteria which evolve to be resistant to the drugs, which is why doctors are hesitant to prescribe antibiotics to people who don’t need them. Amazingly, 70 percent of the medically important antibiotics used each year actually go to livestock and poultry — to animals that aren’t even sick.

This is an extremely reckless way to waste our lifesaving drugs. Fortunately, many major restaurants have taken steps to limit the overuse of antibiotics in their meat, including McDonalds, which now only serves chicken raised antibiotic-free. But McDonalds is also the nation’s largest purchaser of beef, and should commit to only purchasing beef raised antibiotic-free as well.

We all love a good McGriddles or Big Mac, and we could feel a lot better about eating them if McDonalds went antibiotic free.

Erik Jung


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