Saturday, April 26, 2008

Truth in Advertising?

On April 21, a federal judge barred Tyson foods from advertising that their poultry products do not contain antibiotics that lead to drug resistance in humans. The ruling was a victory for rivals Sanderson Farms and Perdue Farms. The "beef" Perdue and Sanderson have is that they, and the poultry industry as a whole do not use antibiotics in their feed rations. They believe that Tyson's advertising campaign was misleading the public, that companies other than Tyson were using antibiotics in their rations. The labeling was initially approved by the USDA, then their decision later retracted, after tyson had already spent money on advertising. it was eventually ruled that they could say "raised without antibiotics that impact antibiotic resistance in humans."

Sanderson claims to have lost $4 million in revenue due to Tyson's advertising campaign and Purdue claims $10 million. The main argument of these companies is that Tyson has created a false connection between commercially raised poultry and antibiotics.

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