New York, NY – Nov. 13, 2013 – The National Advertising Division has referred advertising by Allen Harim Foods to the Federal Trade Commission, following a compliance review of the advertiser’s claim that its “Nature’s Sensation” chickens were humanely raised.
The claim at issue was initially challenged in 2012 before NAD, an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, by the Animal Welfare Institute.
Because the advertiser agreed to permanently discontinue the claim – an undertaking that NAD determined was necessary and appropriate – NAD determined that the matter did not warrant the expenditure of its resources and administratively closed its inquiry.
In 2013, AWI notified NAD that the Allen Harim Foods continued to use the claim on its packaging and its website and the advertiser confirmed that it continues to do so.
Allen Harim Foods noted that the claim was approved for use by the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service Office of Policy and Program Development Labeling and Program Delivery Division (“USA FSIS OPPDE LPDD”) in 2010.
Further, the company said, its “Nature’s Sensation” product line consists of birds raised without the use of antibiotics and fed an all vegetarian diet. It added that all of its antibiotic-free birds have met the standards set forth by Global Animal Partnership (GAP) and that the company has an auditor on staff, certified by the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, to develop, implement, and review all animal welfare-related programs. Further, the advertiser stated, annual third-party are conducted at all locations to verify that the company is meeting or exceeding the National Chicken Council Guidelines.
NAD noted in its decision that while it appreciated the advertiser’s representations that its chickens are raised without the use of antibiotics and fed an all-vegetarian diet, the advertiser “has failed to carry out its 2011 commitment to permanently discontinue its ‘humanely raised’ claim.”
NAD’s decision to administratively close the initial inquiry was based solely on the advertiser’s representation that it would discontinue the claim, which NAD determined was necessary and appropriate.
Given the advertiser’s failure to make a good faith effort to bring its advertising into compliance with NAD’s decision, NAD referred this matter to the appropriate governmental agency for possible law enforcement action.