For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Darcey Rakestraw, (202) 683-2467, drakestraw@fwwatch.org

Katherine Paul, (207) 653-3090, katherine@organicconsumers.org

Sarah Pickering, (424) 305-0165 sarahp@animalequality.org

Watchdog Groups Sue Pilgrim's Pride for Deceptive Advertising

Nonprofits allege poultry producer’s factory farm practices are inhumane and environmentally irresponsible

WASHINGTON - Food & Water Watch and Organic Consumers Association (OCA) have sued Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. for deceptive marketing and advertising of Pilgrim’s Pride chicken products. The suit was brought in D.C. Superior Court, under the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act.

Nonprofits Food & Water Watch and OCA, represented by Richman Law Group and Animal Equality, allege that Pilgrim’s falsely claims that the birds used in its products are fed “only natural ingredients,” “treated humanely” and produced in an environmentally responsible way, when in fact Pilgrim’s systematically raises, transports and slaughters chickens in inhumane factory-farm conditions that include the routine use of antibiotics, synthetic chemical disinfectants, genetically modified crops growth-promoting drugs, and other unnatural substances.

“Pilgrim’s Pride is using slick marketing tactics to deceive consumers,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “There is nothing natural, humane or environmentally responsible about its operations. Pilgrim’s Pride looks after its profits—not the planet.”

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Ronnie Cummins, OCA international director, said: “When consumers read that Pilgrim's chickens are fed 'only natural ingredients' they don't expect those ingredients to include antibiotics, genetically modified grains or growth-promoting drugs. Consumers also don't expect a 'humanely raised' bird to have lived its life crammed into a disease-ridden warehouse with no access to the outdoors. It's time for Pilgrim's to clean up its act, or come clean on its marketing claims."

The groups also accuse Pilgrim’s of  the abuse of chickens by Pilgrim’s Pride contractors and employees, the use of toxic chemicals and the emission of large amounts of pollutants, and the use of artificially selected fast-growing, breast-heavy chicken breeds that have chronic and debilitating health conditions.

Complaint available on request.

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Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

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