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Pressure to Curb Antibiotics Use Increases

The attempt to reduce the use of antibiotics on animals is growing, as concerns grow over the possibility of superbugs that are resistant to medicine used on both humans and livestock. Just this week, McDonald’s announced plans to source only antibiotic-free chicken, Costco revealed plans to push for lower antibiotic use across the meat supply chain, and a group of Senators introduced the Prevention of Antibiotic Resistance Act.

The efforts seek to curb the use of antibiotics in livestock that are also used for humans, and make exceptions for proper use of medicines that are only administered to animals and have no effect on human health.

McDonald’s change will affect all 14,000 U.S. locations within the next two years, and builds on the company’s previous antibiotics guidelines. Costco’s plans may become even wider-reaching, as they are working with FDA and CDC to meet their goal, though a date has not yet been set, reported Reuters.

Changing antibiotic use in other livestock could take longer, as cows and pigs take longer to mature and have less flexible supplies.