News update:Jun 5, 2008

Tyson removes 'raised without antibiotics' label

Tyson Foods announces that it will stop labelling its chicken with "raised without antibiotics" labels following "uncertainty and controversy over product labelling regulations and advertising claims".

It his reported that the company has asked the USDA to consider a "public process to bring more clarity and consistency to labelling and advertising rules involving antibiotic-related product claims".
"We still support the idea of marketing chicken raised without antibiotics because we know it's what most consumers want," said senior vice president of consumer products for Tyson, Dave Hogberg. "However, in order to preserve the integrity of our label and our reputation as a premier company in the food industry, we believe there needs to be more specific labelling and advertising protocols developed to ensure the rules are clear and application of the rules is equitable."
In recent months, the labels have become the subject of a lawsuit by two competitors, a petition to the USDA by three competitors and a purported class-action lawsuit.
Tyson said it has begun designing and ordering new labels and packaging materials that do not make any reference to antibiotics. Packages with the new labels should hit store shelves within the next six weeks, said the company.
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