News 1373 views update:Apr 25, 2008

US court says Tyson must stop advertising claims

A federal judge in Maryland has ruled that Tyson Foods must stop advertising that its chicken is "raised without antibiotics".

The ruling comes after competitors Sanderson Farms and Perdue Farms argued that Tyson's no-antibiotics claim was false and caused their companies financial harm.
In his opinion granting the preliminary injunction, Judge Bennett wrote: "This Court finds that consumers are being misled by Tyson's advertisements proclaiming that its chicken is 'Raised Without Antibiotics.' ... Based largely on Plaintiffs' consumer survey, this Court also finds that the qualified language 'Raised Without Antibiotics that impact antibiotic resistance in humans' is not likely to be understood by a significant portion of the consumer public."
Tyson, however, said it plans to appeal the decision by US District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett. “We strongly disagree with this decision and will appeal since we firmly believe we have acted responsibly in the way we have labelled and marketed our products,” Dave Hogberg, Tyson's senior vice president of consumer products, said in a statement.
Tyson will appeal the decision to the US Court of Appeals for the 4 th Circuit in Richmond, Va.
"We've received overwhelming customer support for this product line and intend to do everything possible to continue making it available to our customers and consumers," Scott Rouse, senior vice president of Customer Development for Tyson Foods, said in the statement.
Tyson shares fell 67 cents, or 3. 45%, to US$18.77 in Tuesday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
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