How much chicken is in Subway’s chicken meals?
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported in February on its Marketplace program that it investigated Subway’s chicken products and found some were actually 50 percent or less chicken and the rest was soy.
Now, Subway is suing the CBC for $210 million, claiming the reporting was “false” and the CBC’s tests weren’t scientific. As a result of the CBC story, Subway says it has lost business, wire service the Canadian Press reported.
The CBC’s spokesperson Chuck Thompson told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “We will be defending our position accordingly but as this is now before the courts, we have no further comment regarding the lawsuit.”
Thompson noted that the CBC “did not set out to exclusively investigate Subway” as its first story looked at chicken from several fast food chains, and pointed out that the CBC published its correspondence with Subway.
iMediaEthics has written to Subway to ask for a copy of the lawsuit.
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The CBC’s Feb. 24 Marketplace episode was titled, “The chicken challenge: Testing your fast food.” Its online news story explained the CBC arranged for DNA analyses of several fast food restaurants’ food and that when it came to Subway, “oven roasted chicken scored 53.6 per cent chicken DNA, and the chicken strips were found to have just 42.8 per cent chicken DNA.” The CBC noted that Subway defended its chicken and rejected the CBC test findings.
Subway responded to the report in a statement on its website claiming CBC’s report was based on “factually incorrect data” and the claims were “false and misleading.”
“We use only chicken – with added marinade, spices and seasoning. Producing high-quality food for our customers is our highest priority,” Subway stated. “Our chicken is and has always been 100% real chicken.”
Further, Subway said it arranged for two independent tests of its chicken and didn’t find the same results as the CBC. Subway also called for the CBC to retract the allegations, NPR reported.
In light of the denials from Subway, the CBC published a follow-up report saying it “stands by” the reporting and provided more information about its investigation.
Subway’s suit against the CBC isn’t the only legal action related to the CBC reporting, CBS News noted. A Subway customer filed a class action lawsuit against Subway’s parent company alleging Subway defrauded customers by selling chicken that wasn’t 100% chicken, citing the CBC story.