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After being accused of backtracking on a commitment to reduce its use of medically important antibiotics, McDonald’s has set specific targets to ensure “responsible use” of these medicines in 10 countries that are its most important sources for beef.

The fast-food giant had indicated four years ago that it would set targets for reducing the use of medically important antibiotics by the end of 2020. But McDonald’s never followed through with specific details, other than issuing policy statements saying the medicines would not be used to promote the growth of food-producing livestock or for preventing disease in the animals.


Earlier this month, however, the company released specific targets for limiting the use of the medicines in cattle from Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, the U.K., and the United States. In an updated policy statement, McDonald’s maintained these countries accounted for more than 80% of its global beef supply chain in 2021.

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