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Subway to sue Canadian broadcaster for defamation

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Oscar Rousseau

By Oscar Rousseau+

Last updated on 20-Apr-2017 at 13:20 GMT2017-04-20T13:20:01Z

Subway called the CBC fake meat claims 'factually incorrect'
Subway called the CBC fake meat claims 'factually incorrect'

Fast-food chain Subway has filed a CA$210 million defamation lawsuit against the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) after the broadcaster claimed some of its chicken was less than 50% meat.

In February, the CBC aired an investigation in which some of chicken strips taken from Subway sandwiches in Canada were found to be only 42% chicken. It claimed the rest of the so-called meat was soy.

The unsavoury story made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic and Subway furiously denied the allegations, blasting them as “baseless” and “factually incorrect”.

In a statement from Subway sent to this site, a company representative said they were seeking millions of dollars in damages after the ‘fake meat’ story broke.

‘Inaccurate claims’

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,” the statement said.

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.

Serving high-quality food to our customers is our top priority, and we are committed to seeing that this factually incorrect report is corrected.

A spokesperson for the CBC told this site:"We will defend our position accordingly and as this is now a matter before the courts, we have no further comment."

Less than 50% meat

Last month, Subway tasked independent laboratories in the US and Canada to test chicken samples for traces of soy. The research found less than 1% of soy in the tested samples.

CBC’s Marketplace report, which aired on 28 February, found samples of Subway’s oven-roasted chicken contained only 53.6% chicken DNA and Subway’s chicken strips contained even less, with 42.8% chicken DNA.

All items sold by Subway are checked by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Subway Canada’s chicken supplier, Ontario-based Grand River Foods, has supplied the business for 11 years. Its meat plant is hazard analysis and critical control point-approved. Subway said it checks the factory annually too.

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