| LOS ANGELES, April 7
LOS ANGELES, April 7 Yum Brands Inc
investors said they have withdrawn a shareholder proposal
requesting that the company phase out harmful antibiotic use in
its meat supply, after Yum's KFC restaurant chain made public a
plan to ban the use of human antibiotics in the chicken it buys.
KFC, the second-biggest U.S. chicken chain by sales after
privately held Chick-fil-A, on Thursday told Reuters that it has
given its chicken suppliers until the end of 2018 to phase out
the use of antibiotics important to human medicine.
With the move, KFC became the last major chicken restaurant
to join the fight to against dangerous superbugs that are
resistant to antibiotics.
As You Sow, an environmental health watchdog group, and
members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
(ICCR), recently withdrew the proposal following "productive
discussions" with the restaurant company.
"This policy is good news for modern medicine and for
long-term shareholder value," said Austin Wilson, environmental
health program manager at As You Sow.
McDonald's Corp, known for its Chicken McNuggets,
says that its roughly 14,000 U.S. restaurants last year stopped
serving chicken raised with antibiotics considered important to
human medicine. Chick-fil-A plans to switch to poultry raised
without any antibiotics at all by the end of 2019.
Consumer, health and environment groups, such as the Natural
Resources Defense Council and allied groups such as the U.S.
Public Interest Research Group, Food Animals Concern Trust,
Center for Science in the Public Interest and Consumers Union
had also called on KFC to set stricter antibiotics policies.
The vast majority of all antibiotics used in the United
States currently are given not to people, but to farm animals.
Many medical scientists regard farm use of drugs that treat
human infections as particularly dangerous because the practice
risks promoting superbugs that can defeat life-saving human
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Bill