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Tyson to Suspend Chicken Ad Campaign

by 5m Editor
5 May 2008, at 1:12pm

US - Marketing campaign at US meat processor set to be dismantled as federal appeals court rules US meat processor Tyson to comply with an order to remove misleading advertising from 8,500 stores, says FoodNavigator-USA.

Imposed last week, a judge in Richmond, Virginia ruled the poultry giant has 14 days - until 15 May - to remove advertising that claims its products are raised without antibiotics.

The ruling follows a preliminary injunction issued last month by Baltimore's US District Court that included an order for the company to immediately cease advertising its chicken as raised without antibiotics that impact antibiotic resistance in humans.

Tyson had then requested the federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia to stay the ruling by the Baltimore judge.

"We're disappointed the motion for a stay has been denied and are evaluating our legal options," Tyson Foods spokesman Gary Mickelson said in a statement last week, reports the Washington Post.

The firm said it has already contacted stores about removing POP (point-of-purchase) advertising.

The action was sparked off by rival poultry processing companies Perdue Farms of Maryland and Sanderson Farms of Mississippi. The two companies had filed the suit against Tyson in a joint injunction that sought to stop Tyson's ad campaign.

The competitors argued that Tyson's marketing campaign for the "raised without antibiotics thought to lead to drug resistance in humans" claim misleads consumers because none of the companies use those types of drugs. Sanderson said it lost $4 million in sales since last year as a result of the Tyson campaign, while Perdue contended it lost $10 million.

Tyson said in a statement that the preliminary injunction does not affect the USDA-approved product label used on Tyson's retail fresh chicken products. It does affect Tyson advertising of the products, the firm added.

View the FoodNavigator-USA story by clicking here.

5m Editor