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Life on the land in Australia

IS COLES SCAMMING THE PUBLIC ON CHICKEN

Fresh food row

as Coles accused

of cashing in on

chicken myth

  • By Jesse Phillips
  • From: The Sunday Telegraph
  • March 06, 2011 9:19AM
Chicken
Many consumers still believe hormones are added to aid chicken growth.

Source: The Australian Chicken Meat Federation. Source: Supplied

  • Coles cashing in hormone free myth – Choice
  • Hormone ban already in place for 40 years
  • Coles insists campaign counters urban myth

COLES has been accused of a “dodgy” advertising campaign by spruiking “no added hormones” in its chicken – even though hormones haven’t been added to any chickens in Australia for almost 50 years.

According to industry groups and consumer watchdog Choice the supermarket giant is trying to capitalise on the urban myth that chickens are given hormones to speed growth.

Adding hormones to Australian poultry was outlawed in the early 1960s but the myth of pumped-up chickens has persisted, said Dr Andreas Dubs, the executive director of the Australian Chicken Meat Federation.

Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn branded the Coles campaign as “dodgy”.

“You can’t have hormone-free chicken unless there are chickens that are pumped up on hormones,” Mr Zinn said.

“I think it’s a little dodgy. It’s true, but it’s like saying it’s plutonium-free or cyanide-free because it’s suggesting that anything that doesn’t have that label on it might have that.”

The reason people were so worried about hormones in chicken, according to Dr Dubs, was because of the increased size of chickens, which he put down to selective breeding.

“It’s an urban myth … that boys grew breasts because they ate too much chicken that had hormones in it,” Mr Zinn said.

A Coles spokesman said the supermarket was just countering the myth.

“Chicken in Australia has not been treated with hormones for over 40 years. However, there is still a widespread misconception among customers that they do,” he said.

“In fact in July last year, chicken producer Steggles commissioned a Newspoll study among 1000 people that showed that 76 per cent still believed that hormones and/or steroids were used in chicken production.”

March 7th, 2011
Topic: Poultry, STORES SHOPS Tags: , , , , , ,

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