heart in the clouds

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tyson, what a tangled web we weave

Okay a lot of people know I lean to the natural and organic side of things and call me alternative, granola, crunchy, or just plain weird. I'm very opposed to antibiotics and hormones in our meats, eggs and dairy products, heavy pesticide use in vegetable crops, ANY artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup in ANYTHING (that's right any diet soda or soda with HFCS is evil :)), etc. There's a megaton of evidence to support my leanings and I don't apologize for them whatsoever. I also don't push them on others, but I do explain myself if someone asks or wants information as to why these things are harmful to our families. I try to be a very educated consumer and most of the time, I get it right. So maybe it's me I should be more frustrated with, but today I'm frustrated with Tyson and their deceptive marketing.

A couple years ago when we decided to stop buying those frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breasts at the grocery store, it was hard to stomach the price of the chicken I know is more healthy and safe. But we made it work, bought from local producers in the warm months and then from Whole Foods in the winter months when sustainability wasn't a valid option if you wanted chicken. Then last year I saw it...Tyson's "ALL NATURAL" frozen, boneless, skinless breasts!!! I thought we'd hit the jackpot and I picked up a bag and felt very good that I was buying a product raised without hormones, without antibiotics that contribute to antibiotic resistance in humans, etc. I should've known then that it was too good to be true.

The USDA approved the labeling and marketing for Tyson on this product and more recently retracted their approval saying they can either stop labeling the chicken antibiotic-free or remove the ionophores (antibiotic-like substance) from its chicken feed. Now if you want to research ionophores and how they are just a smoke screen for antibiotics, feel free that's not what this blog is about. But I guess since Tyson is not injecting antibiotics into the chicken's body, they feel they can claim "raised without antibiotics," I call BS! I also learned that Tyson injects their chicken eggs with antibiotics, but they this:

“The claim we’re making is ‘raised without.’ And our consumer research would say that ‘raised without’ in the consumer’s mind, is from hatchery to when they buy the chicken in the store,” said Dave Hogberg, senior vice president for consumer products at Tyson.

A federal judge has ordered Tyson Foods to withdraw advertisements claiming its chickens are “raised without antibiotics that impact antibiotic resistance in humans.”

Two competitors said the ads were untrue because Tyson injects it eggs with antibiotics and used antibiotic molecules in its feed.

Tyson maintained that its claim was truthful, and intends to appeal the decision....of course they did.

Another thing about this "all-natural" chicken: it could be injected with up to 15 percent salt water. It could contain carrageenan, a seaweed extract allowing the chicken to hold on to the salt and water during processing.

Also, the fine print on the back of a chicken package labeled "100 percent all natural" could show that the chicken contains up to seven times the extra salt of nonenhanced varieties. So if you're aiming for a low-sodium diet, forget these babies.

So there's my rant for today. Tyson, I'm DONE with you and I guess it's back to sky-high chicken prices....the sky IS falling little guy :)

1 comment:

Misty said...

Truth in advertising does not exist. Sadly, it's what my degree is in, though I'm not using it. If you just change the shade of purple on a box you can label the product as "new and improved". Seriously.