Suppliers of beef, chicken and pork have been informed by the McDonalds corporation to phase out the antibiotics they use to help animals grow faster. 2.5 billion pounds of meat are supplied to McDonalds each year.
McDonalds says that it is taking corporate responsibility in recognizing that antibiotics in its meat products may help certain strains of bacteria become more resistant, leading to more virulent infections. This makes drugs less effective.
Environmental Defense, Elanco Animal Health and others helped McDonalds formulate its new policy. Consumer backlash is seen as a factor in this decision.