Subway plans to sue CBC over claim its chicken is 50 percent soy

Posted Mar 18, 2017 by Arthur Weinreb
The sandwich franchise has announced its intention to sue the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation alleging the network aired a program falsely claiming the company’s chicken contains around 50 percent soy. The CBC refuses to retract its claim or apologize
Subway sandwich
Subway sandwich
Simon Shek / Flickr / Creative Commons
Subway has issued a Notice of Action stating the company intends to sue the network for $210 million. Subway is claiming an episode of Marketplace, the network's consumer show, erroneously reported Subway’s chicken products have a much higher percentage of soy than is found in chicken served by other fast food franchise outlets.
A Notice of Action is not a lawsuit but rather a document indicating an intention to sue. CBC acknowledges the corporation was serviced with the notice and said they will defend the lawsuit if and when it is launched.
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The Marketplace episode in question aired on Feb. 24 and was entitled, “The Chicken Challenge.” In that episode, CBC claimed Subway’s oven-roasted chicken contains only 53.6 percent chicken. In addition, the program noted Subway’s chicken strips, used in its Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwiches, contains only 42.8 percent chicken. The rest of the “chicken” consists of soy used as a filler.
Marketplace reported chicken from various fast food chains were tested at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. In comparison to Subway, the percentages of chicken DNA was found to be 88.5 percent in Wendy’s chicken, 86.5 percent at Tim Hortons and 84.9 percent in McDonald’s chicken products.
Chicken sold in grocery stores usually contains 100 percent chicken DNA.
The claims made by CBC are disputed by Subway. In response to the program, Subway stated its chicken was tested by two independent laboratories, one in Canada and the other in the United States, and only traces of soy were found. The company called the program“false and misleading” and demanded CBC retract its statements and apologize. A statement issued by Subway stated serving high-quality food is a top priority and they are intent on making CBC correct its “factually incorrect report.”
But the public broadcaster is standing by the statements made in its program and said they will defend the action of a Statement of Claim is issued. Emma Bédard, public affairs manager for the CBC, said they have seen no evidence that would make them change their minds and said their journalism is sound. According to the network, test results of Subway’s chicken were so different than other chicken tested, Marketplace obtained more Subway chicken and ran the tests again. The results of the second series of tests were the same.
Bédard also claims Subway has given no explanation for the results of DNA testing CBC had done on its chicken products, other than to say the results are false. If a Statement of Claim is issued by Subway, CBC will contest the action and issue a Statement of Defense.