2 Ways McDonald’s ‘Quick Fix’ Antibiotics Move Falls Short
McDonald’s took a major step toward shaking its image as a purveyor of unnatural food on Wednesday when the chain announced plans to rid its U.S. chicken supply of human antibiotics.
But McDonald’s hasn’t gone to the same lengths as its upstart rival Chipotle, the burrito chain whose fresh, antibiotic-free ingredients have sent sales soaring in recent years while McDonald’s numbers have slumped. McDonald’s plan falls short in two major ways: It won’t remove every kind of antibiotic from the company’s chicken, and it won’t affect other types of meat at all.
The company said it will continue to use ionophores — a form of veterinarian antibiotic given to flocks that catch diseases or parasites — to treat sickly birds. Though the antimicrobials don’t pose a threat to consumers, they serve as a quick fix for illnesses borne of overcrowded, unsanitary farming conditions. Therefore, the continued use of ionophores suggests the quality of life for McDonald’s chickens — as well as the quality of their meat — may not be improving any time soon.