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Bojangles: Stop Routine Use of Antibiotics & Publish Your Ingredients

Hi, this is Vani Hari, author and activist at FoodBabe.com.

Bojangles’ Famous Chicken & Biscuits is everywhere here in the South! It’s at sporting events, charity functions and even being served in schools!

Yet, after multiple correspondences with Bojangles’ Executives, they continue to use routine antibiotics in the production of their meat and refuse to disclose ingredients in their food.

Given the health crisis we face in this country (especially here in the South), we need to know what’s in our food!

I urge you to sign this petition in asking Bojangles’ to: (1) formally prohibit the routine use of antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention in the production of their meat, with a concrete policy and timeline, and to (2) publish their complete ingredient list online.

ISSUE #1 – ROUTINE USE OF ANTIBIOTICS TO RAISE MEAT

The routine use of antibiotics is irresponsible and puts everyone at risk because:

  • Antibiotics are being routinely fed to farm animals – not just to treat diseases – but to make them grow bigger on less food and to compensate for unsanitary conditions (1).
  • Approximately 70% of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are for use on farm animals and the amount continues to rise (2).
  • This misuse of antibiotics is creating superbugs that could threaten the entire human population (3). When animals are consistently fed low levels of antibiotics, they become a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can spread to humans (4).
  • We now have bacterial infections that only a few years ago could be cured and now are no longer responsive to even last resort antibiotics (5).
  • Thousands of people are dying every year and experts believe it’s going to get worse (5). Due to worsening resistance, future organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy, dialysis, and other medical procedures that rely on effective antibiotics are at risk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rise of bacteria resistant to commonly relied-upon antibiotics is one of our most pressing public health threats. (6) We’re rapidly approaching a post-antibiotic era.

As you may know, I have been working with several experts and consumer advocacy groups for over a year on a campaign to eliminate the routine use of antibiotics in animal agriculture. (7) We launched successful campaigns against Subway and In-N-Out Burger (8). Other major chain restaurants no longer use routine antibiotics in the production of their meat or have made public commitments to stop this practice, including McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Panera Bread, Shake Shack, Taco Bell, Papa John’s, and Noodles and Co. (9)

We have been reaching out to Bojangles’ for over a year and so far they have failed to make a public commitment to eliminate the routine use of antibiotics from their meat supply chain. Consumers are increasingly aware and educated about this issue, and a transparent policy with a clear timeline will help consumers understand that Bojangles’ is taking a leadership role in helping to solve a major public health crisis.

Bojangles’ should also take measures to improve the management practices on their farms so that routine antibiotics are not necessary. Antibiotics should only be used as necessary to treat animals diagnosed with an illness.

ISSUE #2 – REFUSAL TO DISCLOSE INGREDIENTS IN THEIR FOOD

Customers are increasingly seeking ingredient information because they are concerned about food additives and their relation to health, or have other allergies and food sensitivities that are not provided on their allergen statement. Without full ingredient disclosure, consumers are left in the dark, which prevents them from eating at Bojangles’. Bojangles’ has been public for over a year, yet they refuse to provide basic information about the ingredients they use.

Almost every other fast food chain from KFC, to McDonalds, to Wendy’s, to Burger King, are transparent about their ingredients and publish their complete ingredient lists online. It’s time to demand that Bojangles’ do the same!

Join me and sign this petition.

Dear Mr. Clifton Rutledge, Chief Executive Officer of Bojangles’ Inc.:

Many health experts, including the Centers For Disease Control and the World Health Organization, agree that the routine use of antibiotics in farm animals is contributing to an increase of life-threatening antibiotic resistant bacteria. This resistant bacteria is spreading to humans, and we now have bacterial infections that only a few years ago could be cured and are now not responsive to any known antibiotics. Thousands of people are dying every year, and experts believe it’s going to get worse.

The CDC warns,“If we don’t act now, our medicine cabinet will be empty and we won’t have the antibiotics we need to save lives”. Everyone can agree that is a scary prospect.

Due to this looming health crisis, several major chain restaurants no longer use routine antibiotics in the production of their meat or have made public commitments to stop this practice, including McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Panera Bread, Shake Shack, Taco Bell, Papa John’s, and Noodles and Co.

I urge Bojangles’ to prohibit the routine use of antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention in the production of meat as other chains have done. You could make a giant impact by working with your meat suppliers to eliminate this practice.

Please ask your suppliers to improve management practices and conditions for animals in their facilities which would reduce the need for routine use of antibiotics, and allow for the drugs to be used only as necessary to treat animals diagnosed with an illness. Consumers are increasingly aware and educated about this issue, and a transparent policy with a clear timeline will help consumers understand that Bojangles’ is taking a leadership role in helping to solve a major public health crisis.

I also urge you to become more transparent by publishing complete ingredient information online for each menu item as other major fast food chains do. Customers are increasingly seeking ingredient information because they are concerned about food additives and their relation to health, or have other allergies and food sensitivities that are not provided on your allergen statement. Without full ingredient disclosure, consumers are left in the dark, which prevents them from eating at Bojangles’.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

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