Organic Consumers Association

Tell KFC: ‘Just Say No’ to Antibiotics in Chicken!

You probably don’t eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken. But KFC’s “finger-lickin’ good” chicken poses a threat to your health, whether you eat it or not.

The Washington Post just reported that “for the first time, researchers have found a person in the United States carrying bacteria resistant to antibiotics of last resort, an alarming development that the top U.S. public health official says could mean ‘the end of the road for antibiotics.”

It’s a widely reported fact that one of the primary reasons antibiotics that once helped save lives are now ineffective is the over-use of antibiotics by factory farms. And KFC, one of the world’s largest fast-food chicken restaurants, is partly to blame.

TAKE ACTION: Tell KFC: ‘Just Say No’ to Antibiotics in Chicken!

After you sign the alert, please also fill out KFC’s contact form. Then call the company at 1(800) 225-5532 and/or write a letter to: KFC, Attn: Mr. Greg Creed, Chief Executive Officer Yum! Brands 5200 Commerce Crossings Dr., Louisville, KY 40229

And don’t forget to post a comment on KFC’s Facebook page.

According to the Washington Post:

The antibiotic-resistant strain was found last month in the urine of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman. Defense Department researchers determined that she carried a strain of E. coli resistant to the antibiotic colistin, according to a study published Thursday in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. The authors wrote that the discovery "heralds the emergence of a truly pan-drug resistant bacteria."

Yum! Brands is the parent company of KFC. It’s website is all about “feeding the world” and “corporate social responsibility.”

But what’s socially responsible about contributing to a global health crisis by failing to take action on antibiotics?

According to a 2013 report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control revealing, 23,000 people in the U.S. alone die every year from antibiotic-resistant infections. Another two million get sick from antibiotic-resistant infections.

A 2015 report commissioned by the UK government estimates that by 2050, the annual global death toll from antibiotic resistant disease will reach 10 million, and the global cost for treatment will be around $100 trillion.

Some companies have responded to scientists’ warnings and consumer demand to stop sourcing chicken routinely fed antibiotics, including KFC’s leading competitor, Chick-fil-A, and also McDonald’s and Subway.

But not KFC.

More than 80 groups, led by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recently signed a letter to Yum!’s CEO, Greg Creed, asking the company to address the antibiotics issue. But Creed, Yum!’s and KFC have remained mum.

According to the NRDC:

When these drugs are overused, by humans or animals, some bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. That threatens the future effectiveness of these medicines, putting public health at risk.

These superbugs don’t stay down on the farm. They can be transferred to humans in the handling or preparation of raw foods or via air, water and soil from the farm to nearby communities. Even workers can inadvertently take them home.

Let’s be clear. There’s nothing good about meat sourced from factory farms that torture animals, abuse workers, pump birds full of antibiotics, pollute communities and contribute to the degenerative industrial agriculture system.

But even those of us who boycott factory farm products, can’t escape the risk companies like KFC pose because they fail to take a responsible approach to the use of antibiotics.

It’s time for KFC to “just say no” to drugs.