Most consumers believe growth hormone myths
by the Australian Chicken Meat Federation showed that at least two-thirds of
Australians believe chicken growers treat their birds with growth hormones,
according to Federation CEO Mr Andreas Dubs.
Mr Dubs said he was surprised by the extent of
the myth, given hormone treatment of birds had been banned in Australia since
The survey of 1100
consumers from across Australia found that nearly 80 % incorrectly believed
chickens were treated with 'something' to make them grow artificially larger;
two thirds believed hormones were used to boost bird growth, whilst just over
one third believed hormones in chickens represented a health hazard.
Additionally just over half of those surveyed
"mistakenly believed genetic modification was used to boost chicken growth" (no
farming of genetically modified animals is allowed in Australia).
Mr Dubs said in an interview: "Antibiotics, hormones and genetic
modification were not the reason chickens were larger. Consumers are enjoying a
plumper and larger chicken thanks to best practices in traditional breeding and
continual improvements in how we raise and care for chickens.
"Many of the myths were fuelled by erroneous advertising claims about
'hormone-free chicken', a marketing ploy which relied on consumer ignorance. It
is a lack of awareness that the industry is now addressing as part of a broader
In a statement the Federation added: "This research highlighted some
incredible misconceptions about how chickens are raised in this country and it
is time the industry addressed these with the facts.
"The industry has set up an information phone line for consumers to give them
the facts, raise general knowledge about the chicken meat industry, and dispel
myths about what actually goes into today's chickens."
information, see the Australian Chicken
Meat Federation website.
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