Editor's note: On February 7, 2019, Organic Consumers Association and Food & Water Watch sued Pilgrim's Pride for deceptive advertising. More here.
Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. is facing a new front in its battle with the Humane Society of the United States over the way it raises, slaughters and sells its chickens.
The advocacy group said it’s following up on a December complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission by sending letters to seven state attorneys general asking them to investigate the company and its claims about how it treats animals.
The group said that, despite Pilgrim’s pledges that its birds are treated “humanely,” they are instead raised in crowded barns and slaughtered through a method that can result in chickens being “drowned in scalding hot water while fully conscious.”
In its filing with the FTC, the Humane Society alleged the company was misleading consumers with claims that its chickens are “raised, transported and processed as humanely as possible.” Last month, consumer advocacy groups Food & Water Watch Inc. and Organic Consumers Association filed a lawsuit that also alleged the company was engaged in deceptive marketing. At the time, Pilgrim’s Pride said it “strongly” disagreed with the lawsuit’s allegations.