RICHMOND, Va. (CN) – The 4th Circuit ordered Tyson Foods to remove misleading advertisements from 8,500 stores that claim that its chickens are raised without antibiotics.
The ads are misleading, an appellate panel ruled, but not because Tyson’s chickens are drugged with antibiotics or any other substance that might affect drug resistance in humans. They aren’t, but neither are the chickens of Tyson’s competitors, and the ads lead consumers to believe that competing products are not as safe to eat.
The court rejected Tyson’s request for an emergency stay of U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett’s injunction requiring Tyson to pull the misleading ads.
Competitors Perdue Farms and Sanderson Farms had sued Tyson in federal court in Baltimore, claiming the antibiotic-free campaign allowed Tyson to rake in money by drumming up a nonexistent fear.
The court gave Tyson 14 days to comply with Bennett’s order to remove the ads.