Many Americans Think Chicken Contains Hormones, Antibiotics

US - Nearly 80 per cent of Americans mistakenly believe that chicken contains added hormones or steroids, according to national survey findings released by the National Chicken Council (NCC).
calendar icon 3 December 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

In fact no chicken sold or raised in the US is given hormones or steroids.

Over 1000 adults answered the survey, which was conducted by ORC International.

In some cases, consumers are not able to easily access facts on chicken production, the NCC said, and as a result the organisation is launching a new project called 'Chicken Check In', which aims to help the public learn about chicken production.

According to the survey, 68 per cent of Americans believe that the media portrays the care of chicken negatively, highlighting the need for chicken producers to engage in more conversations with consumers about where their chicken comes from.

The NCC said many of the assumptions expressed by survey respondents were concerning, including:

  • 78 per cent believe chickens are genetically modified, when there are no genetically modified chickens, and chicken production has become more efficient merely using conventional breeding;
  • 77 per cent believe chicken contains added hormones or steroids, when the USDA has banned all hormones and steroids in poultry since the 1950s;
  • 73 per cent believe antibiotics are present in most chicken meat, when the USDA regulates withdrawal periods to ensure no meat bought in-store contains antibiotic residues;
  • 68 per cent believe most chickens raised for meat are raised in cages, when no US broiler chickens are raised in cages.

“We take pride in the care of our chickens, but we know it’s on us as an industry to do a better job of providing more information on how our food gets from farm to table,” said Tom Super, spokesperson for the NCC.

“Food is an emotionally-charged topic, and with conflicting information readily available online and on social media, it’s understandable people are concerned. We invite consumers with open arms to come and take a look at the work we’re doing to progress as an industry in providing safe, healthy and sustainable food.”

The 'Chicken Check In' site allows consumers to learn more about how the chicken they purchase and feed their families is raised.

“The mission of Chicken Check In is to provide those who have questions with the level of information they want regarding the care and safety of the chicken they eat,” said Mr Super.

“We’re committed to continuing to build consumer trust by having open conversations and inviting Americans to ask the questions they have now and in the future as they learn more about chicken production.”

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