Poultry Progress, But Where’s the Beef?

The rampant misuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture is creating drug-resistant bacteria that are harming public health and threatening modern medicine as we know it.

Your favorite hamburger joint is probably serving beef that is contributing to the crisis.

A report released this week, “Chain Reaction: How Top Restaurants Rate on Reducing Antibiotic Use in Their Meat Supply Chains,” grades restaurants on their commitment to keeping antibiotics out of their meat supply chains. And the results are not pretty.

America’s fast food restaurants are failing us. Literally. All but three of the top 25 burger chains in the U.S. earned an “F” in the report – and with a D-, Wendy’s* barely avoided flunking out too.

McDonalds,* Burger King,* Hardees,* In-N-Out,* Sonic.* They all failed.

Shake Shack* and BurgerFi* were the only chains to earn “A” grades for their public policies to only source beef raised without the use of antibiotics.

Wendy’s avoided an “F” grade by sourcing 15% of its beef from producers that have cut, by 20%, the use of one medically important antibiotic, tylosin.

The new report, the fourth in a series, primarily focuses on the beef sourcing of America’s largest burger chains. The focus on beef is the result of real strides in the restaurant industry to eliminate antibiotic misuse in poultry supply chains.

Green Century is proud to have played a role in this progress, having secured commitments from companies such as Starbucks* and Jack in the Box* to eliminate the routine use of medically important antibiotics in their poultry supply chains.

We remain actively engaged on this issue too. Just last month, Green Century filed a shareholder proposal with Darden Restaurants,* the largest casual dining operator in the U.S. and Canada, urging it to reduce the use of medically-important human antibiotics in its meat supply chain.

Green Century’s proposal received 40.2%1 of shareholder support, which demonstrates the growing concern among investors and consumers about antibiotic misuse in meat supply chains.

Curious how your favorite restaurant stacks up? Read the new report here, and be sure to follow all of Green Century’s work to help keep antibiotics effective by visiting our website at www.greencentury.com.

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1The percentage in favor was calculated by (i) dividing the number of votes in support of the proposal by (ii) the sum of the number of votes voted in support of and against the proposal. Abstentions and broker non-votes were not included in the calculation.

*As of September 30, 2018, McDonald’s Corporation, Starbucks Corporation, Jack in the Box, Inc.,  and Darden Restaurants, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 1.16%, and 0.00%; 1.97%, 0.69%, and 0.00%; 0.00%, 0.02%, 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. Other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolios as of September 30, 2018. 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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