Dear CI Member,

Why does US get antibiotic-free chicken while THE REST OF THE WORLD gets antibiotic-full chicken? 

Considering the fact that global fast food chains are increasingly selling meat fed with routinely administered antibiotics, CI is currently planning to initiate a global campaign calling for fast food chains to significantly reduce the use of antibiotics on animals in their supply chain.

Around 50% of the antibiotics produced globally are used in agriculture, with much of this being used to promote faster growth in animals and to prevent, rather than treat disease. Low dosage of routinely administered antibiotics result in antibiotic resistance  and we could face a return to an era where simple infections can kill.

In 2014 CI, published recommendations on the use of antibiotics in agriculture in which we called for global and national actions from governments  to reduce use of antibiotics in farming.  We also called on multinational food manufacturers, retailers and restaurant chains to:

  1. Use their massive global purchasing power to effect faster change than government action alone could achieve.
  2. Refrain globally from using any meat that has been produced from animals administered with antibiotics for growth promotion.
  3. Refrain globally from using any meat that has been produced from animals administered with antibiotics for routine disease prevention.
  4. Create purchasing policies that encourage suppliers to take steps to reduce the need for anti microbials through better animal husbandry.

In recent months, there have been developments that could positively lend support a successful global campaign on this issue. In March this year, Mc Donalds announced that chicken served in its US restaurants would be free from human antibiotics within two years.  Crucially however, this promise does not extend to its restaurants outside the US, nor to other animal products (beef, pork) served.

On 25th May, a global Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance was adopted by the World Health Assembly meeting in Geneva.The plan has five objectives – to use medicines properly in human and animal health; reduce infection by sanitation, hygiene and infection prevention measures; strengthen surveillance and research; educate the public as well as doctors, veterinarians and farmers on proper use of antibiotics;  and increase investment in developing new medicines, diagnostic tools and vaccines.The plan calls for actions by governments, the WHO Secretariat, international organisations, civil society groups and professional bodies. Most importantly, all governments are expected to have in place a national action plan on antimicrobial resistance that is aligned with international agencies’ standards and guidelines within two years.

In the US, a coalition of consumer groups and public health and environmental advocates have started to target fast food chains. This is a very good opportunity to use consumer pressure to promote change along the supply chains. If Mc Donalds and other chains were to commit globally to avoid using meat from animals routinely fed with antibiotics, the impact would be huge.

CI is targeting the three largest international fast food chains ;

  • McDonalds(36,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries serving 64 million people every day) of which around 8,800 restaurants (25%) are in Asia Pacific region
  • Subway(43000 locations in over 110 countries) of which about 2170 outlets are in AP region, and
  • KFC (YUM)(14,000 plus restaurants in more than 80 countries) of which around 9,350 outlets (66%)are in AP region !

Campaign’s Call ” For the world’s largest fast food chains to significantly reduce the use of antibiotics on animals in their supply chain  AND to require suppliers not to use antibiotics in farming considered  critically important for humans, except in specific circumstances in order to save life or prevent serious suffering. “

Proposed Campaign’s activities CI will work with members –

–  Agree a core campaign message that is supported through model letters for the companies, model press releases and campaign briefs.

–  Provide images and video for social media work.

–  Co-ordinate the launch of the campaign in June/July 2015 and share information on responses from different countries.

How YOU can get INVOLVED in this proposed global campaign? TELL US by answering the following questions BELOW:

#1. Whether you have any of these chains/outlets operating in your area /country. (PLEASE PUT X next to it)

MC DONALDS                                 SUBWAY                                               KFC/YUM


#2. Whether your organization is interested to participate ? If yes, kindly provide the name of a contact person and email details and indicate which companies you will  target  in your area?

#3. Whether you are agreeable to the campaign aim? Or have other suggestions to ensure success of the campaign?


#4. Whether any other activities needed to be implemented that will lead to campaign’s success?


#5. As there is no funding support available, indicate what other support you will need from CI  to enable your organization to participate in the campaign? (the campaign will require minimal staff time)
Thank you for your time and consideration. Kindly indicate your interest to participate in the campaignLATEST by  TUESDAY 9 June 2015 by  returning the filled email to

Thank you, and Sincerely,



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Consumers International | the global campaigning voice for consumers
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