IRVINE – Taco Bell today announced a new policy limiting antibiotic use in its beef supplies—committing to a 25% reduction in all medically important drugs, but allowing for a lengthy six-year implementation timeline, omitting details about how reductions will be measured, and failing to include verification from an independent third party.
The news comes while the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and partner groups are turning up the heat on another fast food giant—Wendy’s—to improve its antibiotics policies for beef. This indicates pressure is increasing for the fast food industry to reduce reliance on these precious drugs in their beef supplies, as they have for chicken in recent years.
A statement follows from Lena Brook, Director of Food Campaigns at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
“Fast food chains are seeing the writing on the wall: Customers want better beef. Taco Bell is the latest restaurant to commit to improving the antibiotics policies for its beef supplies. While its commitment leaves significant room for improvement, it’s a move in the right direction and shows the pressure is on for competitors to take action. As one of the nation’s largest beef buyers—we’re calling on Wendy’s to step up next, with comprehensive reductions across all of the company’s beef supplies.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.