Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

It Ain't Right

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

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