We’ll have more on this next week, but we couldn’t resist sharing this juicy tidbit from Sanderson “Fake Natural Chicken” Farms.
First, the background. In June, OCA and other groups sued Sanderson, a mulit-billion-dollar company and the fourth largest poultry producer in the U.S., over its blatantly false advertising, after we learned what’s actually in Sanderson’s “100% Natural” chicken. You can find the full list of contaminants here.
Tests conducted by the USDA revealed that Sanderson chicken contains antibiotics like amoxicillin, penicillin, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, sulfadiazine, and sulfamethizole. Sanderson chicken also tested positive for a number of pesticides, and also for drugs, including ketamine, ketoprofren and prednisone, a common steroid.
Our lawsuit points to outrageous advertising claims, on the Sanderson website, on TV and radio, about how “natural” Sanderson products are. (We couldn’t sue the company for the false "100% Natural" labels on its packages, because unlike for other food products, the USDA has an official definition for "natural" as it applies to labels on meat. According to the USDA, any meat that contains no artificial flavors or flavorings, coloring ingredients, chemical preservatives, or other artificial or synthetic ingredients can be labeled “natural.” Apparently, the USDA thinks it’s OK to call chicken that contains all manner of drugs and pesticides as “natural.” Go figure).
Back to this week's news. Sanderson just announced a new adverstising campaign called "Old MacGimmick." Sanderson says the new campaign evolved from its efforts to continue its "truth-telling mission."
Here’s the truth. Sanderson chicken contains everything listed above, and more. The tests don’t lie. The "100% Natural" labels do.
You may not fall for false “natural” labels and advertising claims. But Sanderson’s contaminated chicken is problem for everyone, whether or not you eat Sanderson chicken. Those contaminants end up in the environment. And the chicken ends up in hospitals and schools and restaurants, unlabeled. And the organic poultry producers who raise chicken right? They lose business when companies like Sanderson are allowed to make false claims, either on their product packaging or in their advertising. That makes it tougher for those producers to survive. And when they go out of business, consumers have fewer choices.
According to the Sanderson press release, consumers just love the Sanderson brand. If you don’t, please let the company know!