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Is Tyson's Antibiotic-Free Chicken Really Antibiotic-Free?

May 15, 2008 | 49,735 views

EggsA federal judge has ordered Tyson Foods to withdraw advertisements claiming its chickens are “raised without antibiotics that impact antibiotic resistance in humans.”

Two competitors said the ads were untrue because Tyson injects it eggs with antibiotics and used antibiotic molecules in its feed.

Tyson maintained that its claim was truthful, and intends to appeal the decision.

“The claim we’re making is ‘raised without.’ And our consumer research would say that ‘raised without’ in the consumer’s mind, is from hatchery to when they buy the chicken in the store,” said Dave Hogberg, senior vice president for consumer products at Tyson.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Tyson’s claim may be technically true -- which makes it just about the worst kind of deceptive advertising there can be without simply lying.

When they say that their eggs come from chickens that are “raised without antibiotics”, they are clearly trying to give the impression that the eggs are antibiotics-free.  In fact, this is not the case at all; even if their chickens are “raised” without antibiotics (although that also may be a deceptive claim anyway, since there seems to be some evidence that there are antibiotics in their feed), the eggs still have antibiotics injected into them before they reach the stores. 

Tyson’s attempt to weasel around that fact is nothing more than semantics.

Sad to say, this is nothing but typical behavior when it comes to big business.  Whenever a packaged food or a large retailer makes a health claim, your first reaction should be suspicion.

The Truth About Splenda Isn’t Sweet

Another example of this kind of deception is the marketing campaign of the artificial sweetener Splenda.  They would dearly like you to believe that their product is natural because it is “made from sugar”. Well this simply is another “half truth” meant to convince you of a falsehood, and the Sugar Association has sued them for this marketing strategy.

Although the process for developing Splenda starts with a sugar molecule, chlorine molecules are added to it. Splenda shares many similar characteristics to pesticides like DDT that can accumulate in your body fat and tissues. It is impossible to predict the long-term consequences of ingesting this substance over many years.

Splenda is in fact not natural at all, and it has been linked to a number of toxic side effects including shrunken thymus glands (up to 40 percent shrinkage), enlarged liver and kidneys, reduced growth rate, aborted pregnancy and diarrhea.

I encourage you to review my extensive Splenda testimonials pages, which are filled with heartbreaking stories about the toxic effects this artificial sweetener may inflict. Nearly every month, we receive a report from someone who has had an adverse reaction to Splenda, and after reading just a few of the submitted testimonials it's likely you won't ever want to look at it again!

7-Up Isn’t Picked Fresh Off a Tree

Meanwhile, 7-Up manufacturer Cadbury Schwepps has begun an ad campaign that promotes the soda as "100 percent natural" and pictures cans of 7-Up being picked from fruit trees.  The Center for Science in the Public Interest has threatened to sue Cadbury Schwepps if the all-natural claim is not dropped, calling it a misleading untruth.

One thing many people don’t know is that for many foods, there isn’t any strict legal definition of what counts as "natural."  Foods including potato chips, ice cream and cookies can be labeled as natural without it meaning anything at all.

When it comes to 7-up, CSPI has argued high fructose corn syrup is not natural. You couldn't make it in your own kitchen unless you happen to own centrifuges, hydroclones, ion-exchange columns, and buckets of enzymes. And as far as the cans being picked off the tree goes, there isn’t even any fruit juice in 7-Up.

Make Sure Your Food Really is Natural

Folks, I could go on and on without end, giving examples of this sort of behavior by big business.  Farm-raised fish put into overcrowded pens where disease and parasites like sea lice flourish, fed synthetic diets that wild fish would never eat, are called “organic”.  Pepsi, like 7-Up, is also making ridiculous health claims for its unhealthy products.

If you really want to be sure your food is healthy, organic, and safe, you might want to try avoiding grocery stores altogether. More and more people are buying food fresh off the farm from producers they personally know and trust, through CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), farmers’ markets, or other local food movements. When you can actually go visit the farm itself, you can see that it’s natural, fresh, and exactly as advertised.  If you want to get started on this, there are plenty of organizations around to help you out.

[+] Sources and References

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