The nutrition "experts" tell you to eat chicken. It’s better for you than a steak. Besides it’s cheaper, right?
That advice helps chicken companies sell nearly 60 million tons ($90 billion dollars’ worth) of chicken to U.S. consumers every year, of which less than $1 billion dollars worth is organic.
To drive home the “chicken is healthy” message, one of those chicken companies—Sanderson Farms—plays fast and loose with the facts advertising its chicken products as "100% Natural." In fact, Sanderson’s website devotes an entire section to its "100% Natural" claims.
It's a nice story. But it leaves out this important fact: Sanderson chicken products have tested positive for multiple antibiotics, prescription drugs or pesticides.
The $600-billion global advertising industry was built on hype. We get that. But Sanderson takes hype to a whole new level. And we’re on a mission to make the company clean up its chicken—or clean up its act.
OCA, along with Friends of the Earth and Center for Food Safety, filed suit today against Sanderson for false advertising. We think you’ll find the complaint (it’s definitely worth the read) as shocking as we found the test results.
You may never buy a package of Sanderson-brand chicken. But Sanderson sells its chicken to grocery stores who market it under their own private labels. The company also sells chicken to restaurant chains and institutions, which could include schools, hospitals and nursing homes. So you could be eating Sanderson’s drugged chicken without even knowing it.
Even if you never take a bite of Sanderson chicken (and we hope you don’t), Sanderson’s blatantly false advertising hurts everyone. Nearly 23,000 people die every year from preventable infections, because the over-use of human antibiotics on factory farms has made many of those antibiotics ineffective for people when they need them most.
Finally, let’s not forget that when consumers are duped into paying low prices for a product masquerading as something it’s not, it’s all that more difficult for farmers and producers who do the right thing—and tell the truth—to compete. That means fewer choices for consumers.
It's time to hold one of the biggest imposters in the poultry industry accountable for its advertising, and its products.
Read the press release
Read Bloomberg’s report on our lawsuit
Read the full lawsuit
“By federal law, all chickens have to be cleared of antibiotics before they leave the farm,” says the folksy, flannel-wearing actor in a Sanderson Farms “Truth about Chicken—Supermarket” video.
Imagine our surprise when we learned that government testing of Sanderson chicken products uncovered 11 instances of antibiotics for human use in Sanderson chicken products—after they had left the farm.
One of those antibiotics, chloramphenical, is not only prohibited in food-producing animals, but according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program report (2016), is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
Antibiotics aren’t the only “unnatural” substances in Sanderson chicken. Tests revealed growth hormones prohibited in poultry production, pesticides and prescription drugs—including one with hallucinogenic effects!
Tell Sanderson Farms CEO Joe Sanderson: Stop advertising your contaminated chicken as ‘100% Natural!’
Tweet: @SandersonFarms Stop lying about your contaminated chicken!
Post a comment on Sanderson Farms’ facebook page.
Have you ever purchased Sanderson Farms' “100% Natural” chicken? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us where you bought it.
To infomercial hosts, carnival barkers, and other hustlers, questions about truth just don’t matter much. For them, freedom of expression is all about the hustle, not truth. For the rest of us, truth is, of course, never alive nor dead. It’s something we struggle to see more clearly, to realize day to day, to make more real in our lives. And that’s always messy business. Truth is always on life support. – “Why We Are Driven to Search for the Truth,” by Robert Jensen, published in yes! Magazine.
For more than a year, we’ve been huddling behind the scenes with scientists and lawyers who have been painstakingly reviewing test results, in order to get to the truth.
Today, we shared that truth with you, the mass media, and the millions of consumers who have the right to know what’s in their food.
We’re talking about Sanderson Farms, of course. We filed suit today against the third-largest poultry producer in the U.S., a goliath of a company with nearly $3 billion in annual sales. Sanderson sells chicken in retail grocery chains and restaurants. It also supplies chicken products to institutions, which could include everything from hospitals to your kid’s school. (OCA invited Friends of the Earth and Center for Food Safety to join the lawsuit, too. Strength in numbers, and all).
Sanderson’s false advertising affects all of us. The consumers who mistakenly trusted Sanderson’s “100% Natural” advertising claims, and end up eating contaminated food. Anyone who may need an antibiotic to fight off an infection—only to find that antibiotic ineffective. Farmers and producers who raise chicken right, and tell the truth about their practices and products.
This lawsuit has been a long time coming. We will use it to educate consumers, protect the environment and good farmers, and expose the truth: Factory farming is a “messy business.” In fact, it’s a filthy business, fueled by Monsanto’s endless stream of contaminated GMO animal feed.
This may be only one step in our campaign to end factory farms and take back our food—but it’s a critical one. And it’s one that will require significant resources as we go up against corporations like Sanderson, with deep pockets and shallow ethics.
Fundraising can be a messy business, too—especially when so many good organizations need funds to do their good work. Our summer campaign got off to a late and slow start. If you help us reach our goal by midnight June 30, your donation will be matched by both Mercola.com and Dr. Bronner’s. Thank you for helping get to the truth. We couldn't do it without you.
Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)
Donate to Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts)
Support OCA's Regeneration International Project (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic, regenerative agriculture and climate change)
Our plan to organize OCA members into local Resist & Regenerate chapters through Meetup is gaining traction. We're already up to 4,441 members across 264 Meetups nationwide.
OCA members are a diverse group, whose interests range from health, the environment, organic gardening, cooking—you name it. Have you ever wondered if you have fellow OCA members in your own community? Meetup is one way to find out.
To get started, why not host a potluck, play-date, book discussion, film showing, garden club, health or nutrition education group, or a political organizing event with other OCA members in your neighborhood? You can find fellow members by signing up here to join your local volunteer team.
Not ready to host? Ease into it! By joining an existing Meetup or signing up to get a chapter started in your community.
It’s nearly impossible to fight Monsanto and Dow Chemical at the federal level where they can buy off Congresspersons and even the President. But at the local level, communities fighting for their rights have chalked up some impressive successes. Some have focused on protecting pollinators. Others have banned Monsanto's Roundup and other pesticides fom their local parks and playgrounds. Others have even banned GMO crops in their local regions.
Working in our own local communities, to pass ordinances and elect local officials who represent our interests, is our best strategy right now for taking back our democracy from the robber corporations. That's why we're using Meetup to activate OCA's lobbying arm, which is allowed to endorse candidates. Our local Resist & Regenerate chapters will educate politicians on the issues and organize support for candidates who understand the connections between food and health, and agriculture & climate. (To see what this looks like, check out what we’ve been up to in Virginia.)
We need you to make this happen! Please join (or sign-up to start) your local Resist & Regenerate chapter today. You won't want to miss out as we roll out exciting and important new campaigns and action opportunities through Meetup!
Find and join a #Resist & #Regenerate Meetup near you
Start your own #Resist & #Regenerate Meetup group in your community
Watch our Meetup webinars for tips on how to organize in your community
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Almost 70 years after the first cities started fluoridating their water supplies, more than 90 percent of Americans still get cavities.
If that weren’t enough to ban fluoride, there’s this: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently added fluoride to its list of developmental neurotoxins—chemicals that interfere with normal brain development in utero and in children (though the agency claims the levels found in drinking water are “safe”).
In 2006, the National Research Council of the National Academies (NRC) determined that fluoride is an endocrine disruptor that damages the thyroid.
And still . . . cities are fluoridating water. Like the video’s narrator says: lunacy.
Watch ‘Our Daily Dose’
A recent article in Civil Eats highlights what should, but sadly isn’t, obvious: If we tied crop insurance to improved soil health, farmers might be less vulnerable to what it is that makes them need crop insurance in the first place—“severe weather and bad years of production.”
As it stands now, farmers who employ healthy soil-building practices like cover cropping, actually lose out under the U.S. Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP).
Crop insurance is one of those wonky policy issues most of us don’t think much about. But we should, says a new study from Cornell University. As the Civil Eats article reports:
In a new paper, Cornell University assistant professor of agricultural business and finance Joshua Woodard and post-doctoral research assistant Leslie Verteramo Chiu argue that tying the Crop Insurance Program to the health of a farm’s soil could make it a powerful tool for promoting more sustainable and resilient farming.
As unprecedented heatwaves ground U.S. flights in Phoenix, Ariz., and create unbearable conditions in other parts of the world, it’s way past time to rethink the $8 billion in annual, taxpayer-funded crop insurance payouts to farmers growing crops like GMO corn, cotton and soy.
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