Mega poultry producer in hot water over fowl advertising, faces joint lawsuit
SAN RAFAEL, CA – International animal protection non-profit In Defense of Animals and national environmental advocacy organization Friends of the Earth have filed a suit against Sanderson Farms, the third largest poultry producer in the United States. The company headquartered in Laurel, Mississippi, raises and slaughters over 500 million birds each year. Sanderson Farms heavily brands itself as “100% Natural” and confuses consumers about whether its chickens are free from antibiotics, despite routinely feeding its chickens antibiotics and raising them in unnatural industrial sheds.
The suit alleges Sanderson Farms has violated laws governing unfair competition and false advertising. The request of the suit is for the court to declare that Sanderson violated these laws and to order Sanderson to engage in a corrective advertising campaign.
“For years, Sanderson Farms has ignored the scientific consensus that overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture contributes to antibiotic resistance, a major public health threat,” said Kari Hamerschlag, deputy director of food and agriculture at Friends of the Earth. “It is time for the company to come clean after years of deliberately misleading the public and lying to consumers.”
“Factory-farmed chickens are the opposite of ‘100% natural,’ and for Sanderson Farms to downplay the very real dangers of routine antibiotic use and drug-resistant superbugs in our fragile food supply is grossly irresponsible,” said Nadia Schilling, In Defense of Animals campaign director for farmed animals.
Sanderson Farms has spent millions of dollars to loudly promote its practice of pumping chickens with antibiotics as harmless, and smeared chicken raised without antibiotics as a “a trick to get you to pay more money.”
This video has been pulled from Sanderson Farms’ YouTube Channel
Antibiotic resistant superbugs are a major public health threat. The ongoing coronavirus global pandemic has highlighted how unsanitary animal raising and slaughtering practices contribute to calamitous consequences for public health. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that three out of every four new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals.