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6 Nonprofits File FTC Complaint Against Cargill for Misleading ‘Family Farmer’ Claims on Turkey Labels


Sarah Hanneken,, 414-405-1970; Katherine Paul,, 207-653-3090; Seth Gladstone,, 917-363-6615; Magaly Licolli,, (479) 435-0269; Melia Manter,; Angela Huffman,, 614-390-7552; Sherri Dugger,

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA — November 24, 2020 - Six nonprofits today filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission asking the FTC to investigate Cargill, Inc., and enjoin the company from making false and misleading claims about its turkey products sold under the Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White brands.

In the complaint, the groups — Venceremos, Mighty Earth, Animal Equality, Organic Consumers Association, Family Farm Action Alliance and Socially Responsible Agricultural Project — said Cargill uses its “independent family farmers” labeling and marketing claims to falsely imply that the turkey brands have far-reaching benefits for workers, animals and the environment when in fact the turkeys used in the two brands come from large, corporate-controlled factory farms. 

“Far from the bucolic family farms portrayed by Cargill’s marketing, Cargill’s actual production methods exploit contract farmers and slaughterhouse workers, systematically abuse animals and cause grave harms to the environment,” the complaint reads.

Cargill routinely exploits both the struggling contract farmers who raise its turkeys and the slaughterhouse workers in the processing plants (which is made all the more evident in light of the COVID-19 pandemic), according to the complaint.

Cargill systematically mutilates turkeys and requires them to be intensively confined, by the tens of thousands, in unsanitary warehouses. The company engages in environmentally destructive practices, including improper waste disposal that leads to the pollution and degradation of waterways, the groups said.

Animal Equality is an international organization working with society, governments, and companies to end cruelty to farmed animals.

Family Farm Action Alliance is a national research, policy development, market innovator, and advocacy organization working to build a sustainable, inclusive economy in which everyone has the right to share in the prosperity they help build and that respects our land, natural resources, and neighbors around the world.

Mighty Earth is a global environmental campaign organization that works to protect forests, conserve oceans, and address climate change.

Organic Consumers Association is a 501(c)(3) consumer education and grassroots lobbying organization advocating on behalf of millions of consumers for safe, healthful food and a clean environment.

Venceremos is a worker-based organization in Arkansas whose mission is to ensure the human rights of poultry workers.

Socially Responsible Agricultural Project is a national non-profit organization based in Colorado that works to help communities across the U.S. replace industrial livestock production with ecologically sound, socially equitable, and economically viable animal agriculture.