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McDonald’s pushes back on investor call for pork sourcing changes

McDonald’s Corp. is defending its pork supply practices after investor Carl Icahn called for the fast food giant to change the treatment of pigs that wind up in pork-based sandwiches at the company’s restaurants.

Icahn has nominated two people to the McDonald’s board of directors in an effort to push the Chicago-based company to live up to a 2012 commitment to phase out pork that are raised in gestational crates, which are viewed by animal rights advocates as inhumane. The billionaire investor owns about 200 McDonald’s shares and also is a majority owner of Viskase, a company that produces and supplies packaging for the pork and poultry industry, McDonald’s noted in a news release.

The company added that Icahn has not yet publicly called on Viskase to adopt commitments similar to ones McDonald’s established 10 years ago regarding the use of gestational stalls. By the end of 2022, McDonald’s expects to source between 85% and 90% of its pork from sows not raised in such crates during pregnancy and plans to increase that rate to 100% by the end of 2024, the company added in its response to Icahn’s board nominations.

Icahn's campaign coincides with California's Proposition 12, which sets housing standards for breeding pigs, egg-laying hens and veal calves and prohibits the sale of pork, eggs and raw veal from producers that do not meet space requirements. Pork products sold in the state must derive from pigs confined with at least 24 square feet per animal.

A California judge, though, recently delayed Prop 12's enforcement.

Par : Chris Scott (21/02/2022)

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