perdue receives new usda process verification

I just saw the new {misleading} Perdue chicken TV commercial making a big fuss about their new USDA Process Verification.

I’ve only seen the commercial once so far, so I’m going on what I remember, details are fuzzy. I’ll update when I can review the commercial again.

Jim Perdue is having a press conference about the fact that Perdue chicken is the first to receive the USDA Process Verification. I remember hearing buzz words/phrases like “cage free”, “vegetarian fed”, “no growth hormones”! And then he closes the barn door, and there’s chickens sitting at little make-up tables with lights around the mirror, giving the impression that the chickens are superstars!

Here’s the REAL STORY.

What Does the USDA Process Verification Actually Mean?

At first, the pessimistic in me is thinking okay, Perdue pressured the USDA to create this verification process and applied even more pressure to make sure they were the first. Just sayin LOL

But here’s their official USDA Process Verification:

All Vegetarian Fed – Chickens are fed a high quality vegetarian diet, with no animal by-products.
Raised Cage Free – Perdue chickens are free to roam within the chicken houses.

So, what does the verification mean? From Perdue’s press release:

“We feed our birds the finest natural grain products, including corn, soybeans and marigolds, with no animal byproducts,” says Perdue. Products carrying the Raised Cage Free claim are verified to come from birds that are free to move about within temperature-controlled chicken houses.

Big deal!

The official-sounding verification really means nothing in terms of humane treatment of animals, but I am sure that it won’t matter to consumers. People hear the phrases cage free and vegetarian fed, and they think they are doing a good thing by buying. I know, because I fell for it myself in the past!

They feed their chickens cheap GMO {Genetically modified} soy and corn and their chickens don’t live in cages. They still can be cramped together (like poor cage free egg layers), and there is no stipulation for fresh air, outdoor access, lighting, etc.

Oh and they feed marigolds so the chicken skin turns a nice yellow color! But it does evoke a lovely scene of chickens roaming freely through fields of yellow flowers doesn’t it?

Sorry, but if Perdue is the first and only USDA Process Verified company, then I am sorry, but that just leads me to believe the whole verification process is bogus bull crap, actually make that bogus chicken crap.

Perdue’s Web Site Claims

Let’s take a look at some further details stated on their web site about this prestigious recognition (insert smirk):

We’ve always known our PERDUE® chicken was good, but with our new USDA Process Verified seal, now we know it’s VERIFIABLY GOOD. Perdue is the FIRST poultry company to have a Process Verified seal. The seal verifies that the chickens have been raised without cages and fed an all-vegetarian diet. This means you can have full confidence in the way we raise our chickens. In taste tests,** we’ve also found that this means consumers prefer the taste of Perdue USDA Process Verified Chicken.

Boy that is a lot of congratulatory self-praise, a casual reader could possibly miss the actual verification details. Did you catch it?

The seal verifies that the chickens have been raised without cages and fed an all-vegetarian diet.

If you keep scanning down the web page, the content becomes even more misleading.

They list all these great USDA Defined Terms including “organic”, “Free range free roaming”, “No antibiotics”, “No hormones”, but why? Their verification has NOTHING to do with organic, free range, hormones or antibiotics, so why are these words being listed on this page? To perhaps confuse and mislead the public?

Anti-biotics vs Hormones and Steroids

Sometimes people misunderstand the words hormones and anti-biotics, thinking they are one in the same. I know I have been misled in the past when looking at labels.

Here is what Perdue states on their FAQ page about anti-biotic usage:

Perdue does not use antibiotics for growth promotion in our chickens. We use antibiotics as directed by our company’s team of veterinarians, all of whom are board-certified by the American College of Poultry Veterinarians. The antibiotics are used in stringent accordance with FDA and USDA guidelines. All PERDUE® products are free of harmful residues as determined by routine onsite USDA sampling.

They will always need to administer anti-biotics because their poor chickens are crammed together in small spaces, which means they are stressed, which means they will get sick!

I love the line

“All PERDUE® products are free of harmful residues as determined by routine onsite USDA sampling.”

Does the USDA think anti-biotics are harmful? Does this mean that any and all anti-biotic residues are acceptable because they are determined as safe?

PS: Perdue’s consistent claim for non-usage of hormones is bogus, because the USDA forbids usage in poultry and pork. But they still try to mislead the public whenever they can get away with it.

So, please when choosing products for your family’s table, don’t fall for silly verifications like this, even if it does come from the USDA. It’s just a load of chicken sh*t!