United Poultry Concerns October 2 , 2003

Karen Davis response in The Nation to “Victory at McDonald’s”

United Poultry Concerns President Karen Davis has the following letter in the October 13, 2003 issue of The Nation in response to “Victory at McDonald’s” by William Greider, Aug. 18/25, 2003, in which Greider says: “The company formally acknowledged in late June that the heavy use of growth-stimulating antibiotics by the industry threatens human health.”

Karen Davis responds:
It is important to understand that McDonald’s is banning only one antibiotic use in chickens – growth promotion. The ban permits other uses of antibiotics in their chickens. Since the antibiotics used for growth-promotion are typically the same as or similar to those used for disease control in the chicken houses, it is doubtful what effect, if any, the McDonald’s policy will have. With or without antibiotics, the poultry industry can manipulate weight gain artificially by, for example, deactivating the protein that prevents birds’ muscles from overdeveloping, or by disrupting normal peptide and gut processes so that birds who are full feel empty and continue eating. The trade literature is full of test reports on alternatives to antimicrobial growth promoters in animal food production.

It is a pipe dream that birds and other animals can be healthfully and humanely raised for mass consumption. Moreover, the genetic engineering of these animals is well underway in laboratories around the world. People’s consciences and health would be better served by eating vegetarian meals.

United Poultry Concerns

United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. http://www.upc-online.org


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