The National Chicken Council (NCC) has released findings from a national survey on consumers' perceptions about chicken production. The study reveals 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 U.S. is given hormones or steroids. Consumers are not able to easily access facts on chicken production. ORC International conducted the survey with 1,011 adults aged 18 years or older. It was fielded Sept. 17-20 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.
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, including:
- A majority (78 percent) believe chickens are genetically modified.
- A majority (77 percent) believe chicken contains added hormones or steroids.
- Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) believe antibiotics are present in most chicken meat.
- More than two-thirds (68 percent) believe most chickens raised for meat are raised in cages.
- 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.
- No chicken sold or raised in the U.S. is given hormones or steroids. In fact, the USDA has banned all hormones and steroids in poultry since the 1950s. Good breeding, proper nutrition, care by a veterinarian and better living conditions all contribute to the healthier growth of birds.
- Any meat from chickens sold in the U.S. 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.
- No chicken meat you buy is raised in a cage. The majority of chickens raised for meat in the U.S. live in large, open structures called houses where they are free to walk around.
In an effort to recognize and respond to these concerns, NCC has launched Chicken Check In, which provides real answers to questions about chicken production in the U.S., and gives Americans a close look at the lives of the birds and how they get to our tables every day.
"We take pride in the care of our chickens, but we know it's on us as an industry to do a better job of providing more information on how our food gets from farm to table," said Tom Super, spokesperson for the NCC. "Food is an emotionally-charged topic, and with conflicting information readily available online and on social media, it's understandable people are concerned. We invite consumers with open arms to come and take a look at the work we're doing to progress as an industry in providing safe, healthy and sustainable food."
For more information on the survey, go to www.ChickenCheck.in