Nonprofits Sue Tyson For Deceptively Claiming “Environmentally Responsible,” “Humane”


Washington, D.C.—Food & Water Watch (FWW) and Organic Consumers Association (OCA) sued Tyson Foods, Inc., in D.C. Superior Court under the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act, for deceptive marketing and advertising of chicken products sold under the Tyson brand and other brand names.

A press release from OCA specifies that the nonprofits allege that Tyson makes marketing and advertising claims intended to make consumers think that Tyson chicken products are produced in an environmentally responsible, humane manner, when Tyson’s practices include:

  • Routine use of anti-parasitic drugs
  • Injection of chicken eggs with formaldehyde
  • Production of chickens contaminated with antibiotic-resistant superbugs
  • Washing of the Tyson products with hazardous chemical disinfectants
  • Crowding of birds by the tens of thousands into massive industrial warehouses with no access to the outdoors

The nonprofits also allege that nearly a dozen undercover investigations have uncovered systemic cruelty inflicted intentionally upon chickens raised for Tyson products.

Related: OCA Sues Twinings For Deceptive Labeling

Wenonah Hauter, FWW executive director, said in the release: “Tyson’s inhumane chicken operations take a tremendous toll on the environment. In 2014, Tyson dumped more than 20 million pounds of toxic pollutants into US waterways. From 2013 to 2015, the company was guilty of more than 300 wastewater Clean Water Act permit exceedances. Any claims of environmental responsibility are patently false.”

Ronnie Cummins, OCA co-founder and international director, said: “Consumer surveys confirm that shoppers are paying greater attention to not only what’s in their food, but to how their food is produced. They often conduct online research, relying heavily on marketing claims posted on company websites. Tyson should live up to the claims it makes, or stop making them.”

The groups are represented by Richman Law Group and Animal Equality.

The full complaint can be found here.