dglobalnews.com KFC to stop using chickens raised with human antibiotics
Published: Sat, April 08, 2017
Markets | By Armando Jensen

KFC to stop using chickens raised with human antibiotics

KFC to stop using chickens raised with human antibiotics

KFC is making a change to its chicken for health reasons.

LOS ANGELES, April 7 Yum Brands Inc investors said they have withdrawn a shareholder proposal requesting that the company phase out harmful antibiotic use in its meat supply, after Yum's KFC restaurant chain made public a plan to ban the use of human antibiotics in the chicken it buys.

According to KFC U.S. president Kevin Hochman, the policy applies only to the 4,200 restaurants supplied by some 2,000 domestic chicken farms in the U.S.

"Antibiotics should only be used to treat disease and not wasted on healthy livestock to make them grow faster or to compensate for filthy conditions on factory farms", Halloran said.

KFC points out that this commitment will make it the first major fast food chain in the United States to service chicken on the bone that isn't treated with human antibiotics.

Farmers had used antibiotics in chickens to stimulate growth, but growing concern over the impact of this practice, and notably its potential to encourage antibiotic resistance in humans, has led to a push to change the practice.

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"To extend our [antibiotics] commitment beyond our boneless menu items to include all of our chicken required detailed and thoughtful planning over the past year, including utilizing the USDA's Process Verified program to ensure our suppliers can meet our requirements", Vijay Sukumar, chief food innovation officer for KFC U.S., said in a statement.

"This announcement is a win for anybody who might someday depend on antibiotics to get well or even save their lives - i.e. everybody", Matthew Wellington, program director for U.S. PIRG's antibiotics program, said in a press release. Chick-fil-A is going a step further, vowing in 2014 to switch to poultry raised without any antibiotics at all by the end of 2019. "The market is responding to consumer demand for better meat". The company said 100-percent of its menu, excluding beverages and third-party products, would be free of food dyes by the end of the year.

The announcement comes in response to health advocates who've long urged the company to reconsider its antibiotic policies, warning KFC that the life-saving medicines need to be preserved.

"It's great news for fried chicken lovers, and most importantly it's great news for public health", Brook said.

Human infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria pose a grave threat to global health and are estimated to kill at least 23,000 Americans each year, although a recent Reuters investigation found that many infection-related deaths are going uncounted. The S&P 500 index is up 15.5% for the last 12 months.

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