"Our chicken is 100 percent white meat ..."
Fast-food chain Subway is pecking back at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for a report that alleged its chicken is largely made up of soybean filler.
"We have issued a Notice of Action in Canada against the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that asks for $210 million in damages over allegations made by its program, ‘Marketplace,’ that are defamatory and absolutely false," a Subway spokesman told TheWrap in a statement.
"Despite our efforts to share the facts with the CBC about the high quality of our chicken and to express our strong objections to their inaccurate claims, they have not issued a retraction, as we requested."
The segment that aired last month reported on a DNA test of Subway's chicken product conducted by Trent University in Ontario, where it concluded that the Subway oven-roasted chicken it tested contained 53.6% chicken, and chicken strips that were tested consisted of 42.8% poultry.
In comparison, the tests found that chicken men in a Wendy’s sandwich was made up of 88.5% poultry. A chicken wrap from Tim Horton’s was found to have 86.5% poultry according to the university's study. The report also said that store-bought chicken was typically 100% chicken.
However, the sandwich chain pointed to a separate study that appeared to contradict CBC's findings. According to Subway, two independent labs tested its chicken and found that the "flawed tests" were "false and misleading."
"Test results from laboratories in Canada and the US clearly show that the Canadian chicken products tested had only trace amounts of soy, contradicting the accusations made during the broadcast of ‘CBC Marketplace,'" Subway said in its statement.
Subway also issued the following statement to Business Insider, shortly after the segment aired.
Our chicken is 100% white meat with seasonings, marinated and delivered to our stores as a finished, cooked product. We have advised them of our strong objections. We do not know how they produced such unreliable and factually incorrect data, but we are insisting on a full retraction. Producing high quality food for our customers is our highest priority. This report is wrong and it must be corrected.
CBC confirmed that it had knowledge of the lawsuit, however, declined to change its position.
"We believe our journalism to be sound and there is no evidence that we’ve seen that would lead us to change our position," CBC said, according to the New York Post.