Perdue Farms together with Sanderson Farms have asked
a federal judge to order Tyson Foods to stop making what they say are misleading
claims. However, Tyson has requested that the US District Judge dismiss the
CNN has reported that Perdue and Sanderson claim advertisements that say
Tyson's poultry products don't contain antibiotics thought to affect drug
resistance in humans are misleading because none of the companies uses those
types of drugs. So, by making the claim, shoppers are likely to think that other
companies are using the drugs.
Sanderson has stated that the company has a US$4 mln account to Tyson
because of the advertising campaign. Additionally, Perdue claims it has lost
approx. US$10 mln in revenue since 2007.
According to attorney Randall Miller, who is lead counsel for Perdue and
Sanderson, his clients could make similar claims but feel they are deceptive and
have refused to do so. "We feel it's false advertising," he said.
However, as details of the situation unfold, it has been announced that a
federal judge yesterday denied a motion filed by Tyson to dismiss the request
for a preliminary injunction on the company's "raised without antibiotics"
Meatingplace has also reported that US District Court Judge Richard D.
Bennett plans to issue a ruling on Sanderson Farms' and Perdue Farms' request
sometime next week. Judge Bennett previously told involved parties he would not
issue any decisions from the bench, but changed his mind Thursday as testimony
and closing arguments concluded.
During the hearing Tyson that it is difficult to control the use of
point-of-purchase materials by retailers once those materials are distributed to
stores. The judge asked Tyson Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing Dave
Hogberg earlier this week how quickly Tyson could rescind materials should the
company discover that a chicken line contained carcinogens. Hogberg responded
that a food-safety issue would require quicker action, a response Bennett called
"It is perfectly natural that one would not be particularly anxious to take
down ads that puff one," said Bennett, according to the Daily Record. "I need to
understand what the delay is because I don't know there should be any delay,
Tyson officials remain hopeful about their legal prospects. "We're
disappointed the judge denied our motion to dismiss, but remain hopeful he will
also deny the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction," said Tyson
spokesman Gary Mickelson. "We firmly believe we have acted responsibly in the
way we have labelled and marketed our products."