Darden Restaurants Facing Investor Pressure To Eliminate Antibiotics From Supply Chain

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Green Century Capital Management said Thursday that it has filed a shareholder proposal to pressure Darden Restaurants Inc. , owner of restaurant chains including Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, to expand its current antibiotic policy. The goal is to ensure that the company's meat supply chain is free of non-therapeutic antibiotics. "In its current form the policy is insufficient, as it does not prohibit the use of medically important antibiotics for other routine purposes, such as disease prevention, allowing for the company's continued contribution to the antibiotic resistance crisis," Green Century said. The shareholder offers two environmentally- and socially-responsible funds, and works to curb climate change through its investments. The firm joined more than 50 other institutional investors representing $1 trillion in assets under management earlier this year to propose that Darden, McDonald's Corp. and other companies discontinue the use of meat produced with non-therapeutic antibiotics. McDonald's has since instituted that policy. Darden Restaurants is hosting its annual investor meeting on Thursday. Shares of the company are up 0.2% in early trading, but down 3.8% for the year to date. The S&P 500 Index is up 6.2% for 2016 so far.

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