Subway Sues CBC Over Chicken Report, Seeks $210 Mln In Damages

Henrietta Brewer
March 20, 2017

Fast-food chain Subway is pecking back at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for a report that alleged its chicken is largely made up of soybean filler.

A Subway spokesperson stated that the company issued a Note of Action against CBC and is asking for $210 million in damages.

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

The study, conducted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in partnership with Trent University, tested both oven roasted chicken filets and teriyaki chicken strips from Subway.

A rep for Subway confirmed the lawsuit, saying that the company sought legal recourse after CBC Marketplace failed to retract the earlier report. 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.

The CBC told Fortune that it has not been served with a Statement of Claim and if that happens, the broadcaster will file a statement of defense. Since then, Subway has vehemently denied the report and issued lab tests of its own, which show that its chicken is - in fact - chiefly chicken. 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. 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.

"Test results from laboratories in Canada and the USA clearly show that the Canadian chicken products tested had only trace amounts of soy, contradicting the accusations made during the broadcast of 'CBC Marketplace, '" Subway said in its statement.

Subway has since requested a retraction and apology, and it even took out a full-page ad in the Globe and Mail that read: "Saying our chicken is only 50% chicken is 100% wrong".

Subway is taking claims that its chicken breast is only half chicken to court. 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.

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