Business & Lobbying

Billionaire Carl Icahn targets McDonald’s over treatment of pigs

McDonald's Golden Arches sign (Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
McDonald’s Golden Arches sign (Getty Images)

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn on Sunday nominated two people to McDonald’s board in an effort to start to change the company’s policies in terms of how it treats pigs used for its pork supply. 

Icahn’s nominees were Leslie Samuelrich, the president of Green Century Capital Management, and Maisie Ganzler, who serves as Bon Appétit Management Company’s chief strategy and brand officer, McDonald’s said in a statement on Sunday.

McDonald’s also said that Icahn’s “stated focus in making this nomination relates to a narrow issue regarding the Company’s pork commitment.”

A decade ago, McDonald’s committed to stopping the use of gestation stalls, which are small crates that house pregnant pigs, by this year. 

But that promise remains unfulfilled, and on Sunday, the fast-food giant said that it expects 85 to 90 percent of its U.S. pork to be sourced from pigs not housed in the stalls due to “industry-wide challenges for farmers and producers.”  

The company said Icahn has demanded that they “move to ‘crate free’ pork and set specific timeframes for doing so.”

“While the Company looks forward to promoting further collaboration across the industry on this issue, the current pork supply in the U.S. would make this type of commitment impossible,” McDonald’s said in its statement. 

Overall, Icahn’s stake in McDonald’s is fairly small, about 200 shares, the company said. That investment would be equivalent to about a $25,000 stake in the $187 billion company, according to The Washington Post.

Tags Carl Icahn Intensive farming McDonald's Pig Pig farming Pork

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