McDon­ald’s pol­icy dis­crim­i­na­tory

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 11 Comment Editorial • Opinion -

FAST FOOD CHAIN McDon­ald’s is­sued a state­ment on Wed­nes­day say­ing it will im­ple­ment a new broil­er­chicken an­tibi­otics pol­icy in mar­kets such as Brazil, Canada, Ja­pan, the Repub­lic of Korea, the United States and Europe from next year. Sur­pris­ingly, China, the com­pany’s third-largest overseas mar­ket, is not among them. The Mir­ror com­mented on Satur­day:

Chi­nese din­ers may have to wait for another decade to get an­tibi­otics-free meat meals at McDon­ald’s. The fast food chain will ban the use of an­tibi­otics clas­si­fied by the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion as “High­est Pri­or­ity Crit­i­cally Im­por­tant An­timi­cro­bials” for hu­man medicine in many of its mar­kets from next year, and ex­tend the ban to Aus­tralia and Rus­sia by the end of 2019.

But the ban will be ex­tended to mar­kets such as China only by 2027.

McDon­ald’s de­ci­sion has raised con­cerns among Chi­nese cus­tomers, who feel dis­crim­i­nated against yet again by some multi­na­tion­als. McDon­ald’s China has said it ad­heres to its global goal of elim­i­nat­ing the use of an­tibi­otics in meat prod­ucts in the Chi­nese mar­ket, while work­ing closely with gov­ern­ment de­part­ments, sup­pli­ers, in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tions and schol­ars to pro­mote the in­dus­try’s sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

But is China not on the list be­cause it lags be­hind in an­tibi­otics man­age­ment? Not ex­actly. The US and the Euro­pean Union is­sued reg­u­la­tions to ban an­tibi­otics in fod­der years ago, while China re­vised its vet­eri­nary drugs reg­u­la­tion last year and the reg­u­la­tion on fod­der and fod­der ad­di­tives early this year. So what­ever be the rea­sons be­hind McDon­ald’s re­fusal to ban the use of an­tibi­otics in its Chi­nese out­lets, the lack of le­gal in­struc­tion is not one of them.

Per­haps McDon­ald’s doesn’t want to ex­tend the ban to its Chi­nese mar­ket to save the ex­tra cost of do­ing so. Its weak ex­pla­na­tion about why Chi­nese din­ers have to wait longer could end up an­ger­ing and es­trang­ing them. The least it can do is to give a spe­cific timetable for the ban.

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