OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, shareholders filed a proposal with Yum! Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), requesting that it quickly phase out harmful antibiotic use in its meat supply chain. The proposal was filed by As You Sow and co-filed by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.
Shareholders have been increasingly concerned with the meat and restaurant industries' role in creating antibiotic-resistant Superbugs. In the U.S., approximately 70% of medically important antibiotics are given to livestock; many are used to make animals grow faster or to prevent sickness due to extreme and unhealthy living conditions. Experts agree that overuse of these life-saving drugs is contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant Superbugs, which cause infections in humans that are not treatable by certain (or any) antibiotics.
"Yum! Brands' silence in the face of this looming antibiotic resistance crisis is bad for business," said Austin Wilson, Environmental Health Program Manager. "The future is in healthy and sustainable food. Only 2 in 5 millennials have ever tried KFC. They are the consumers that care most about sustainable food."
Antibiotic use in livestock can be reduced without significant costs to producers by creating better living conditions, increasing cleanliness, and using vaccinations. Denmark, one of the world's leading pork exporters, banned non-therapeutic antibiotic use in pigs over 15 years ago.
In January, 86 advocacy organizations sent a public letter to Yum! Brands, requesting "a strong, definitive public commitment on antibiotic stewardship." A recent scorecard on antibiotics policies gave all three of Yum's brands failing grades, and the company has received unfavorable press.
Many of Yum's competitors have taken action. McDonald's recently phased out medically important antibiotic use in its U.S. chicken supply chain. Wendy's announced that it would follow suit by 2017. Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill already prohibit unnecessary antibiotic use.
Shareholder advocacy leverages the power of stock ownership in publicly-traded companies to promote environmental, social, and governance changes that drive long-term profitability.
As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. For more information visit www.asyousow.org.
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SOURCE As You Sow