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OAKLAND, CALIF. — In a surprising departure from past policies, In-N-Out Burger publicly indicated last week that it is committed to serving “beef that is not raised with antibiotics important to human medicine." The fast food chain made the statement in a response to a Reuters reporter’s question regarding a letter by more than 50 public interest groups pressing the company to stop serving beef raised with routine antibiotics. Groups leading this campaign include CALPIRG Education Fund, Friends of the Earth, Center for Food Safety, Consumers Union, author and activist Vani Hari, and the Antibiotics Resistance Action Center.
“We’re thrilled that In-N-Out is responding so quickly to consumer demand,” said Jason Pfeifle, Public Health Advocate with CALPIRG Education Fund. “If In-N-Out follows through on these commitments, it will be an important win for public health.”
“In-N-Out Burger's recent statement is an important step forward,” said Kari Hamerschlag, senior program manager at Friends of the Earth. “Now, the company needs to provide the public with a timeline showing that it’s serious about eliminating everyday use of antibiotics in meat production,” Hamerschlag said.
In a letter sent late last week, the coalition asked the company to clarify its antibiotics policy by publishing it on their website, including a clear timeline with key benchmarks for progress. The groups also asked the company to adopt a third-party audit to independently verify that the company is making progress toward phasing out routine antibiotics use from its meat supply chain.
“We are also urging the company to offer a sustainable, grass-fed beef option as the best way to quickly respond to customer demand for beef raised without routine antibiotics and other drugs,” said author and activist Vani Hari.
In response to other fast chain restaurants’ policies on antibiotics, livestock producers have maintained that they need antibiotics to treat sick animals.
"Our groups have emphasized to In-N-Out Burger that its policy should allow its producers to treat sick animals with antibiotics when diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian," said Rebecca Spector, west coast director with Center for Food Safety.
CALPIRG Education Fund is an independent, non-partisan group that works for consumers and the public interest. Through research, public education and outreach, we serve as counterweights to the influence of powerful special interests that threaten our health, safety, or well-being.
Friends of the Earth fights to create a more healthy and just world. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, ensuring the food we eat and products we use are safe and sustainable, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.
Center for Food Safety’s (CFS) mission is to empower people, support farmers, and protect the earth from the harmful impacts of industrial agriculture. Through groundbreaking legal, scientific, and grassroots action, we protect and promote your right to safe food and the environment. Please join our more than 750,000 consumer and farmer advocates across the country at www.centerforfoodsafety.org.
Vani Hari is a New York Times Best Selling author, food activist, and creator of FoodBabe.com, In her work, Hari has influenced how food giants like Kraft, Subway, Chick-fil-A, and Starbucks create their products, steering them towards more healthful policies. Vani teaches people how to make the right purchasing decisions at the grocery store, how to live an organic lifestyle, and how to travel healthfully around the world. The success in her writing and investigative work can be seen in the way food companies react to her uncanny ability to find and expose the truth.
Consumers Union is the public policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports. Consumers Union works for health rerm, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace. Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications.
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