Feathers fly over 'untrue' report on chicken nuggets

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WASHINGTON – The National Chicken Council (NCC) is fighting mad about what it calls an “outrageously untrue” report from an Internet posting on the composition of chicken nuggets that later appeared on KSDK-TV in St. Louis. NCC charged in a letter that this report aired without verification of the facts. Other properties owned by the Gannet chain, which owns KSDK, have also been running the story.

Richard Lobb, NCC communications director, didn’t mince words when he wrote to KSDK news director Mike Shipley about a report by local media personality Jamie Allman that ran on May 2. After speaking to Lobb on the phone, Shipley requested the letter.

Based on Lobb’s letter, he charged Allman repeated almost verbatim assertions that appeared on the Internet last September charging the meat used for nuggets is from caged layers. What’s more, the story also stated that all chicken nuggets are made from mechanically separated poultry that is washed with ammonia to kill bacteria, treated with artificial flavoring and dyed to remove the pink color.

“Absolutely untrue,” Lobb pointed out, adding that major nugget brands do not usually include MSP – and that ammonia treatment of poultry is not used.

“I can’t say [MSP] is never used in nuggets because there are many formulations of nuggets, but to suggest that nuggets are usually made from MSP is simply untrue,” Lobb wrote. “It is also untrue to suggest, as Mr. Allman did, that all nuggets are the same. There are in fact hundreds of variations.”

As proof of his charges, Lobb provided a copy of a blog posting from September that included these assertions, one of many uses of the same statements that have been circulating on the Internet. Last year, NCC rebutted the posting, and an article correcting most of the errors is posted to the mythbusting site www.snopes.com and other Internet sites.

As a result of this most recent airing, NCC said it is contacting USA Today and other Gannett-owned outlets to try to stop the erroneous information from being aired or published. NCC’s letter is posted to the website www.chickennews.wordpress.com.
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