Contact: Kyle W. Kempf, Green Century Capital Management, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-482-0800
Boston, August 8, 2019 – Green Century commends Jack in the Box for fulfilling its commitment – one year ahead of schedule – to only serve poultry raised without the use of medically important antibiotics for disease prevention.
“We appreciate Jack in the Box’s dedication to this goal, but its expediency really is indicative of broader progress in the poultry industry,” stated Leslie Samuelrich, president of Green Century Capital Management. “With other large restaurant chains, such as McDonalds,* Starbucks,* and Darden Restaurants,* adopting similar policies, it is evident that eliminating the abuse of medically important antibiotics in poultry production is feasible and cost effective. Companies that continue to lag their peers in this vital public health issue increasingly face reputational risk.”
Antibiotic resistance is a global public health crisis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the General Assembly of the United Nations, and the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2017, the WHO recommended a complete restriction of the use of medically important antibiotics on healthy animals to promote growth or prevent disease.
In 2016, Green Century raised its concerns about the reputational and business risks associated with purchasing poultry unnecessarily exposed to medically important antibiotics in meetings with Jack in the Box executives. Green Century withdrew a shareholder proposal following Jack in the Box’ release of a commitment to no longer purchase poultry raised with medically important antibiotics for disease prevention by 2020.
This month, Jack in the Box updated its Animal Welfare Statement to confirm that it already had reached its goal. In addition to eliminating the use of medically important antibiotics for disease prevention, Jack in the Box confirmed that it does not purchase poultry that has received antibiotics important to human health for purposes of growth promotion or feed efficiency.
An astounding 70 percent of antibiotics used in modern human medicine are sold for use in meat and dairy production. Experts attribute the misuse of antibiotics in food-animal production as a major contributor to the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which may be the third leading cause of death of Americans.
About Green Century Capital Management
Green Century is the first family of fossil fuel free, responsible, and diversified mutual funds in the United States. Green Century invests in sustainable companies, hosts an award-winning and in-house shareholder advocacy program, and is the only mutual fund company in the United States wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations.
*As of June 30, 2019, Jack in the Box, Inc., Starbucks Corporation, McDonald’s Corporation, and Darden Restaurants, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.01%, and 0.00%; 1.76%, 0.84%, and 0.00%; 0.00%, 1.29%, and 0.00%; and 0.00%, 0.12%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century International Index Fund, respectively. References to specific securities, which will change due to ongoing management of the Funds, should not be construed as a recommendation by the Funds, their administrator, or their distributor.
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