“Safer than ever”: When it comes to claims about consumer health or animal welfare, false ad complaints are pretty common. Worker safety may be the new frontier.
A worker coalition in Arkansas and a Washington, D.C.-based environmental nonprofit have asked the government to stop Tyson Foods, one of America’s biggest meat companies, from advertising to the public that its workers are “safer than ever.” In a complaint filed today with the Federal Trade Commission, the agency that regulates advertising and marketing on airwaves and online, the two groups, Venceremos and Food and Water Watch, allege that the meat giant makes workplace safety claims that are “egregiously misleading” consumers.
The Springdale, Arkansas-based company says that it ensures “safe and healthy” workplaces, but the complainants say that’s not true. Tyson has reported more severe injuries than all but two other companies since 2015, and had more Covid-19 cases than any other meatpacker during the pandemic. Nor could the company be “committed to improving the health and safety” of its workers, as it claims, because it hasn’t implemented social distancing at workstations or slowed down line speeds, two actions that federal agencies have recommended to stop the spread of the coronavirus.