A recent investigation by PETA Germany exposed the misleading claims being made by the Plukon Food Group—one of the largest poultry producers in Europe and parent company of Stolle and Friki, two German poultry companies. Products bearing the company’s FairMast label are meant to reassure consumers that chickens have been handled gently during transport and slaughter and the meat is produced “humanely.”
But in May and July of 2014, PETA Germany investigators filmed workers at a Dutch factory farm that supplies Plukon with chickens grabbing up to eight terrified, flailing chickens by the leg at a time, flinging them around, and piling them into crates. Despite this abuse, the meat from these chickens—which is sold to companies such as GLOBUS and Kaufland—will bear the FairMast label.
“With marginal improvements for the animals, this label actually supports and strengthens existing systems of factory and intensive livestock farming.”
—Dr. Edmund Haferbeck, agricultural scientist
The investigators also found antibiotics on the farm, prompting PETA Germany to call for an end to FairMast labeling and for food retailers to stop selling FairMast products.
And this isn’t the first time “humane” labels have misled consumers. In 2012, labels for several major corporations were presented to the German public and endorsed by various animal welfare organizations, including Four Paws and Deutscher Tierschutzbund as well as former Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Consumer Protection Ilse Aigner. PETA criticized such labels right from the start, arguing that they deceive and falsely reassure consumers while encouraging major corporations to essentially continue “business as usual.”
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