Scrolling Headlines:

Hot outside shooting leads UMass over Georgia -

December 16, 2017

Minutemen knock off Georgia for big statement win -

December 16, 2017

Cale Makar selected to play for Team Canada at the 2018 World Junior Championships -

December 15, 2017

UMass men’s basketball looks to remain undefeated at home when Georgia comes to town -

December 15, 2017

Editorial: Our shift to a primarily digital world -

December 13, 2017

Makar, Ferraro off to Ontario to compete for Team Canada’s World Junior hockey team -

December 12, 2017

Lecture attempts to answer whether treatment of depression has resulted in over-prescription of SSRIs -

December 12, 2017

Palestinian students on campus react to President Trump’s recent declaration -

December 12, 2017

Smith College hosts social media panel addressing impact of social media on government policies -

December 12, 2017

GOP Tax Plan will trouble working grad students -

December 12, 2017

Mario Ferraro making his mark with UMass -

December 12, 2017

Minutewomen look to keep momentum going against UMass Lowell -

December 12, 2017

Ames: UMass hockey’s turnaround is real, and it’s happening now -

December 12, 2017

When your favorite comedian is accused of sexual assault -

December 12, 2017

A snapshot of my college experience -

December 12, 2017

Homelessness is an issue that’s close to home -

December 12, 2017

Allowing oil drilling in Alaska sets a dangerous precedent -

December 12, 2017

‘She’s Gotta Have It’ is a television triumph -

December 12, 2017

Some of my favorite everyday brands -

December 12, 2017

Berkeley professor researches high-poverty high school -

December 11, 2017

MASSPIRG celebrates Subway victory

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

MASSPIRG celebrated a massive victory this week, as Subway pledged to remove antibiotics from the meats served within restaurants. The agreement, which begins with the phasing in of antibiotic free chicken and turkey within the coming year, is expected to be fully implemented in 2025.

The move follows a coordinated effort from USPIRG and its chapter organizations, including MASSPIRG, along with a number of other public health interest groups. The coalition had previously planned to deliver a number of petitions to local Subway restaurants, as well as the company’s headquarters in Milford, Connecticut.

Protests were promptly changed to celebration events, thanking Subway for its decision to lead the charge on antibiotic-free food. At one such event in Amherst town center, MASSPIRG staff held signs lauding the fast food chain’s move.

Shawna Upton, vice chair of MASSPIRG’s antibiotics campaign and a student at the University of Massachusetts, was excited about the organization’s win.

“We’re certainly at the point where we’re enjoying the win and focusing on giving credit where it’s due,” Upton said, “This is a huge step for the organization as, unlike the McDonald’s campaign, the restaurant has agreed to a total and permanent antibiotics ban.”

Upton was joined by campaign coordinator Julia Seremba, who echoed Upton’s enthusiasm.

“All the students and volunteers involved are certainly overjoyed at the victory,” said Seremba. “For a lot of those on the campaign, this is their first big win as part of MASSPIRG, and even for those who were here for the McDonald’s victory, the concrete victory is huge.”

The McDonald’s victory was only a two year agreement to remove antibiotics from just chicken, making this a significant step forward for the campaign, whose greater aim is to target public knowledge of antibiotics. Subway’s total commitment to removing all meats with antibiotics is a huge step in the organization’s campaign, bringing both visibility and legitimacy to the movement’s goals.

Both Upton and Seremba noted this as being particularly impactful on the campaign moving forward. They both noted that a full commitment on Subway was the first step in what they hoped would be a “chain reaction” that would result in improved public health knowledge and a commitment by other organizations to phase out antibiotic practices.

The future also looks bright for MASSPIRG and the greater antibiotics campaign. Seeking to continue their consistent momentum, the organization has a number of possible next steps which they are still working on planning. While no specifics were able to be given, both Seremba and Upton were clear that Subway was not an end goal but merely a stepping stone to bigger projects.

“It was a big win. A real solid and important victory, but it can’t be our only focus,” Seremba said, “With the momentum gained from this, we can really get the ball rolling in terms persuading other groups to do the same as Subway has.”

While there are no new projects for the antibiotics campaign, they still remain committed to their ultimate goals of public health education.

Daniel Mahoney can be reached at dpmahoney@umass.edu.

Leave A Comment