STATEMENT: McDonald’s* takes step back from antibiotics reduction goal; Green Century files shareholder proposal asking for reinstatement of original commitment
Andrea Ranger, Shareholder Advocate, email@example.com, 781-349-2813
Mark Morgenstein, Media Relations Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 678-427-1671
Boston, December 27, 2022 – McDonald’s issued an update Tuesday to its antibiotics policy for its global beef supply chain. The update sets targets for the “responsible use” of medically important antibiotics. While demonstrating some progress, the new policy does not include a timeline for implementation or a way to verify progress toward its goals. This plan is not as clear as a similar commitment that McDonald’s made in 2018, then failed to uphold. Green Century Capital Management has filed a shareholder proposal asking the fast food giant to reinstate its initial commitment and include a timeline for meeting it.
“First, McDonald’s failed to meet its own deadline for addressing antibiotic overuse in its beef supply chain. Now, it has released a policy to promote responsible antibiotic use that lacks any teeth,” said Leslie Samuelrich, president of Green Century Funds. “Given McDonald’s history of not following through, including its failure to eliminate the use of pig gestation crates in its supply chain, we worry that without a clear timeline for implementation, this antibiotics commitment is just wishful thinking.”
Administering regular doses of antibiotics to animals being raised for food can spur development of ‘superbugs,’ bacteria that are so resistant to treatment that even our most potent antibiotics can fail to stop the disease. Superbugs can afflict people who handle infected meat from the supermarket or drink water polluted by farm runoff. Farm workers and meat processors may also encounter direct exposure to these potentially deadly bacteria. In 2021, the United Nations announced that we may soon reach a ‘tipping point’ when antimicrobial resistance surpasses heart disease as the leading cause of death.
“Given the potential for a worldwide crisis of antibiotic resistance, McDonald’s needs to accelerate action by its meat suppliers by imposing concrete internal and external timelines,” said Andrea Ranger, Green Century shareholder advocate. “Green Century° and the nuns of Congregation of Benedictine Sisters filed a shareholder proposal in early December to hopefully spur such action. This nebulous response from McDonald’s will not satisfy its many investors who are worried about the health of their friends and families — and expect more from a company of McDonald’s stature and clout.”
About The Green Century Funds
°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (The Funds). The Green Century Funds are one of the first families of fossil fuel free mutual funds in the United States. Green Century Capital Management hosts an award-winning and in-house shareholder advocacy program and is the only mutual fund company in the U.S. wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations.
*As of September 30, 2022, McDonald’s Corporation comprised 0.00%, 1.09%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century International Index Fund, respectively. As of the same date, other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolios of any of the Green Century Funds. 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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