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Meridian Institute

McDonald's Antibiotics Policy Development

Related: Agriculture and Food Systems, Health

In June 2003, McDonald’s announced a new policy to address concerns that the widespread use of antibiotics on US farms makes the drugs less effective for human use. McDonald’s developed this policy—which reduces the use of medically important antibiotics in beef, pork, and poultry production—through multi-stakeholder meetings facilitated by Meridian staff. Participants in the meetings included representatives from environmental groups and McDonald’s. The Alliance for Environmental Innovation, a project of the Environmental Defense Fund, assisted McDonald’s in the development of the policy and supported their announcement of it.


As a result of the new policy, McDonald’s suppliers agreed to phase out the use of some antibiotics that promote growth in healthy animals, and they hoped to significantly reduce the use of other antibiotics that typically protect animals against disease. Meridian assisted in advancing the adoption of this policy by other food retailers through additional meetings in 2003.

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