By Friends of the Earth
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.
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.