Developed in consultation with Environmental Defense, New York, a national nonprofit organization, the policy prohibits direct suppliers from using antibiotics as growth promoters in food animals after 2004. The policy also promotes further reductions in antibiotics by creating a purchasing preference for companies that work to minimize antibiotic use and establishes guidelines for appropriate use of antibiotics by meat producers.
The new McDonald's policy is unique in that direct suppliers will be expected to submit an annual self-certification, testifying that they are in compliance.
Some 70% of the fast food giant's global poultry products comes from direct relationship suppliers that control stages of production where antibiotics are used. McDonald's beef and pork suppliers fall into the indirect category.