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McDonald’s, Beef Industry Slammed for ‘Greenwashing’

cowsMcDonald’s and the rest of the Global Roundtable on Sustainable Beef are “greenwashing” beef production with their principles and criteria for global sustainable beef, according to consumer, worker and environmental groups.

In a letter to the Roundtable’s Executive Committee, 23 groups — including Friends of the Earth, Animal Welfare Approved, Consumer Reports and Food Chain Workers Alliance — criticized the principles and criteria for not addressing misuse of antibiotics and lacking specifics measurable performance standards, among other things.

“Unless the GRSB addresses the fundamental flaws outlined in our letter, the document will represent nothing more than an industry-led attempt to greenwash conventional beef production at a time when real, measurable, and verifiable change is so desperately needed,” the letter says.

McDonald’s, a member of the Roundtable’s Executive Committee, has already announced plans to source sustainable beef by 2016. The letter signatories criticize McDonald’s pledge for its vague criteria: McDonald’s doesn’t say what percentage of its purchased beef will be sustainable in 2016, give a timeframe for its 100 percent sustainable goal, or set sustainability criteria.

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