Significant Investor Support for As You Sow Resolution Challenging Denny’s to Stop Misusing Antibiotics
Over 15% of shareholders support proposal
CONTACT: Cyrus Nemati, (510) 735-8157, [email protected].org
Oakland, CA – May 9, 2018 – A shareholder proposal to curb antibiotic use received significant support at the Denny’s annual meeting today, with over 15% of shares voting in favor.
The proposal, filed by non-profit shareholder advocacy group As You Sow and Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica (a Denny’s shareholder), requests that the company’s brands stop the practice of administering medically important antibiotics to healthy livestock; this practice is used by some producers to keep animals from getting sick in cramped and unhealthy conditions.
Institutional Shareholder Services, a global corporate governance and responsible investing expert, recommended support for the resolution. Brands that have already committed to prohibit all medically important use of antibiotics in U.S. chicken include number one U.S. poultry producer Tyson Foods, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, and KFC.
“Adopting this proposal would be a grand slam,” said Austin Wilson, Environmental Health Manager at As You Sow. “Most big restaurant chains have stopped reckless antibiotic use in chickens. Meanwhile, Denny’s ignores the issue, risking its reputation. A brand can lose value quickly in the age of social media.”
Overuse and misuse of antibiotics in livestock is contributing to the rise in drug-resistant bacteria, also known as "superbugs," which threaten human and animal health. Antibiotic resistance could cause 300 million premature deaths and up to $100 trillion in global economic damage by 2050. Global health authorities – including the CDC, World Health Organization, and the United Nations report that antibiotic use in healthy animals must be reduced to protect human health. Yet, Denny’s management is betting their brand on regulatory half-measures that are known to be flawed.
“More and more consumers want food that is safe and responsibly produced,” said Wilson. “Likewise, more and more investors want companies to show that they are responding to environmental and social issues.”
Investors worth more than $3 trillion support limiting the use of medically important antibiotics in meat production, according to Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return.
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As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies.