China is omitted from a list of countries in which McDonald’s is aiming to eliminate the use of high-value human antibiotics in its chickens by January 2018 because of the different laws and agricultural conditions there, the fast-food giant told CGTN on Thursday [24 August 2017]. Joining a broader global battle against superbugs, McDonald’s announced on Wednesday that it would aim to eliminate from its broiler chicken supply chain the global use of antibiotics deemed by the World Health Organization as being of the highest priority in human medicine…Full Article: ECNS.cn Aug 2017

Key Point

  • By January 2018, McDonald’s will reportedly eliminate the use of key human antibiotics from the company’s chicken supply in Japan, South Korea,  the USA, Brazil, Canada, and Europe (excluding Colistin).

ChinaAg Comments

  • In August 2017, USA’s Carlyle Group and its Chinese partner CITIC Group completed its purchase of McDonald’s franchises in mainland China and Hong Kong. The USD 2.08 billion deal will see CITIC Ltd. and CITIC Capital Partners control a joint 52% stake, while Carlyle Group will control 28%.
  • In April 2017, China will ban use of colistin for growth promotion/farming purposes.
  • In March 2017, McDonald’s USA planned to stop sourcing chicken that has been raised with human-related antibiotics. However, McDonald’s China will continue to use antibiotics in its chicken production.
  • In February 2017, Nature Microbiology (UK) published a reported that stated that 87% of the chicken meat sold in Shandong Province’s supermarkets were contaminated with MCR-1, a colistin (antibiotic) resistant gene. During the same month, Beijing-based Hejun Vanguard Group filed two complaints against McDonald’s China claiming that the  CITIC/Carlyle Group deal would negatively impact 120,000 Chinese employees of the fast-food giant, and that McDonald’s itself failed to properly register all of its restaurants in China.
  • In 2016, the UK-China Research and Innovation Partnership Fund contributed to research that led to the banning of colistin, an antibiotic often used as a feed additive.
  • In August 2016, a former chief economist at Goldman Sachs noted that China accounts for approximately 50% of the world’s antibiotic consumption, of which, 52% is consumed by livestock bred for the food industry.

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