Chickens are genetically modified. Chicken meat contains antibiotics. Meat chickens are raised in cages. All of these statements are wrong, but the majority of Americans believe them to be true. Sabrina Hill reports on a study that shows how little the public actually knows about chicken.
The National Chicken Council (NCC) released new national survey findings on consumers’ perceptions about chicken production, revealing that nearly 80 percent of Americans mistakenly believe that chicken contains added hormones or steroids, when in fact no chicken sold or raised in the United States. is given hormones or steroids.
In some cases, consumers aren’t able to easily access facts on chicken production. According to the survey, 68 percent of Americans believe that the media portrays the care of chicken negatively, highlighting the need for chicken producers to engage in more conversations with consumers about where their chicken comes from. The survey uncovered many concerning assumptions about the care and safety of chicken.
A majority (78 percent) believe chickens are genetically modified. There are no genetically modified chickens. Over the years, chickens with the healthiest growth and size have been selected for breeding – and are fed, housed and raised well. The result is a larger, healthier bird.
Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) believe antibiotics are present in most chicken meat. Any meat sold in the United States is free of antibiotics. The USDA regulates withdrawal periods to ensure no meat bought in-store contains antibiotics or antibiotic residue from animals that may need medicine.
More than two-thirds (68 percent) believe most chickens raised for meat are raised in cages. No chicken meat you buy is raised in a cage. The majority of chickens raised for meat in the United States live in large, open structures called houses where they are free to walk around.