Bowing to consumer preferences, McDonald's U.S. unit announced a new antibiotics policy for its chicken and the upcoming removal of an artificial growth hormone from its milk.
"McDonald's U.S. restaurants later this year will offer milk jugs of low-fat white milk and fat-free chocolate milk from cows that are not treated with rbST, an artificial growth hormone," it said in a press release. "The milk jugs are popular choices in Happy Meals."
The chain pointed out that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rbST-treated and non-rbST-treated cows.
Its domestic restaurants will gradually stop buying chicken raised with antibiotics vital to fighting human infections, the most aggressive step by a major food company to force chicken producers to change practices in the fight against dangerous "superbugs."
The world's biggest restaurant chain will announce on Wednesday that within two years McDonald's USA will only buy chicken raised without antibiotics that are important to human medicine. McDonald's policy will begin at the hatchery, where chickens sometimes are injected with antibiotics while still in the shell.