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European asset manager confronts McDonald’s over antibiotics

Two of Europe’s biggest asset managers this week will try to increase pressure on McDonald’s to cut back on its assets. Food supply contains antibiotics Chain emphasizes what it claims is that antimicrobial resistance is a risk to shareholder interests and the broader economy.

Legal and General Investment Management and Amundi were among the agencies supporting a resolution at Thursday’s fast food chain annual meeting, which called for a US group to “regard the use of medical foods.” We are calling for policies to be established that comply with World Health Organization guidelines.” An important antibacterial agent in food animals”.

This resolution, put forward by the non-profit advocacy group Shareholder Commons, Growing Concerns Among Some Investors On system impacts and broader economic threats Antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

AMR has long been considered a threat to global health and development and is believed to be responsible for millions of deaths worldwide each year. Improper use or overuse of antibiotics can blunt the effectiveness of drugs that are essential for controlling a range of diseases that were often fatal in the pre-antibiotic era.

WHO guidelines recommend a “general reduction in the use of all medically important classes of antimicrobials in food animals”.

McDonald’s called on shareholders to reject the resolution, citing a “strong track record of responsible antibiotic use” across its supply chain.

Maria Ortino, global ESG manager at LGIM, said McDonald’s failed to deliver on an earlier promise to publicly disclose antibiotic reduction targets for all beef sold at its restaurants by 2020. McDonald’s later said it had published more limited targets for “responsible use of medically important antibiotics.” “, she said.

Ortino said AMR could have “a devastating impact on both humanity and the economy.” About 70 percent of the antibiotics were consumed by animals, he said, noting that McDonald’s was “the world’s largest buyer of beef.”

Antibiotics, originally designed only for animals, are increasingly being used as a “last resort” treatment for humans, she said, adding that overuse could make antibiotics ineffective for the world’s population. emphasized the risks of

But the solution holds long promise. Last year, a similar shareholder proposal failed to gain support from Vanguard and BlackRock, McDonald’s two largest shareholders. Both Amundi and LGIM supported last year’s resolution.

Two major shareholder advisory firms, ISS and Glass Lewis, also recommended rejection. “[McDonald’s] It appears to be consistent with regulatory requirements for the use of antibiotics,” ISS said. “Shareholder support is not guaranteed at this time.”

McDonald’s will provide investors with information on its “current policies and practices regarding the responsible use of antibiotics, its focus on helping to drive continuous improvement with suppliers and industry, access to and transparency of antibiotic usage data. Efforts to increase the

It added that adopting the policies outlined in the resolution would be “unnecessary, redundant and would not provide meaningful returns to shareholders.”

But campaigners continue to make their case. Caroline Le Mor, head of ESG research, engagement and voting policy at Amundi, said antimicrobial resistance was a “key consideration” for both food companies and society at large.

“Antimicrobial resistance has a huge cost to society and will cause many deaths in the future,” she said.

Le Mor pointed out: 2016 report The World Bank predicted that annual global gross domestic product could decline by 3.8 percent in a worst-case scenario when antibiotics and other antimicrobials fail to treat infections as they should.

He added that individual food companies face threats of further regulation, fines and even lawsuits for animal ingestion of antibiotics in their supply chains. “At some point the government will tighten regulations on it and if businesses don’t anticipate this, it will cost them quite a bit,” she said.

Additional reporting by Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York

https://www.ft.com/content/b8f67acb-e38e-46e4-9dba-9022caa00763 European asset manager confronts McDonald’s over antibiotics

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