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Your McChicken Is Changing: McDonald's Announces Shift Away From Chickens Fed Unnecessary Antibiotics

Your McChicken Is Changing: McDonald's Announces Shift Away From Chickens Fed Unnecessary Antibiotics

In a move to reverse the trend of decreasing profits, McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) announced that it will begin using chickens raised without medically important/necessary antibiotics.

Why Are Chickens Given Antibiotics?

Not only have farmers given chickens antibiotics to treat infections or fend off bacteria, for years, antibiotics have been administered to help chickens gain weight. Unfortunately, this practice has been linked to antibiotic resistance in those that consume these products.

Why McDonald's Has Such An Influence In The Debate

With over 36,000 restaurants globally and over 14,000 in the U.S. alone, McDonald's is one of the world's largest chicken consumers. This move by the company has the power to change the entire poultry industry, says Dave Donnan, who leads Chicago consulting firm A.T. Kearney's food and beverage division. While the FDA has pushed for changes in chicken rearing for years, private sector decisions will lead to change much faster than any public policy decision will.

Related Link: On McDonald's, Piper Jaffray Moving To Sidelines

Looking Forward

Additionally, NPR released an article in which the director of the food and agriculture program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, Jonathan Kaplan, suggested further future changes. Kaplan suggested in a statement that he's "hopeful McDonald's will soon cut back on antibiotics in its supply chains for beef (think Big Mac) and pork (think McRib), too."

However, beef and pork industries are harder to change due to the increase in time it takes to raise cows and pigs in comparison to poultry.

Furthermore, McDonald's is hoping to appeal to millennials who are much more conscious about the source of the ingredients of their food. If McDonald's can farm chicken costs effectively under these new rules, they hope to increase profits and see sales rise within the coveted demographic.

At the time of this writing, McDonald's was trading at $97.10, down 2.0 percent.

Posted-In: A.T. Kearney Dave Donnan Jonathan Kaplan nprHealth Care Restaurants FDA General Best of Benzinga


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