In response to ‘Chicago, environmental activists not McLovin’ McDonald’s eco practices’

By Letter to the Editor, by Victoria Higgins

To the editor,

The Chronicle recently reported on the Rally for Clean Water that Mighty Earth hosted in front of McDonald’s headquarters in the West Loop. The rally was intended to draw attention to the fact that McDonald’s purchases meat from Tyson and Cargill, some of the most notorious polluters in the meat industry. Full disclosure: I am Victoria, one of the organizers who orchestrated the event. I was pleased to see that the reporter reached out to Tyson and McDonald’s to provide their perspective on the sustainability of their supply chain practices, but I find their responses misleading.

Tyson claimed that they have made a commitment to improving supply chain practices on 2 million acres of feed, but the reality of the matter is that they have not provided any concrete details about how they will make these changes. McDonald’s, too, has sustainability goals, but their continued allegiance to suppliers like Tyson indicates that these goals are not nearly substantive enough. McDonald’s must demand that suppliers like Tyson implement common-sense policies to curb pollution: using cover crops, replanting degraded areas instead of tearing down forests, and reducing fertilizer use, among many others.

I look forward to the day that McDonald’s releases a public statement detailing the specific environmental policies to which their suppliers must adhere.