Today, Subway announced its plan to phase out antibiotics use from its entire meat supply. Their commitment begins with chicken in 2016, expands to turkey in 2017, and promises to fully eliminate antibiotic use from all meat -- including their pork and beef production -- by 2025. This is a major victory for public health.
Overusing antibiotics on livestock and poultry contributes to a major public health problem: antibiotic-resistant infections. Thanks in part to our efforts to educate and mobilize the public on this issue, people have become increasingly aware of this problem and hungry for meat raised without antibiotics. Today, Subway showed that it has heard its customers calls for action, and rose to the occasion.
Our organizers were set to deliver nearly 300,000 petition signatures to Subway headquarters on Thursday, 110,000 of which were collected by PIRG activists who had blanketed campuses and neighborhoods around the country; it now looks like we'll deliver a giant "thank you" card instead! Over 5,000 of those petitions came from students right here at Rutgers.
We're ecstatic that Subway will be living up to the healthy image they've created. They have more restaurants in the U.S. than any other chain, and their announcement will put major market pressure on the meat producers to stop overusing antibiotics.