Subway Sues TV Network over Report that its Chicken is 50% Soy
The CBC and Trent University stand by the finding
The Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) recently reported that a DNA test of Subway’s chicken conducted by Trent University in Ontario revealed that the product was made up of approximately 50% soy filler, and the sandwich chain isn’t taking it lying down. The company has decided to file a huge lawsuit against the news network. 
A Subway spokesperson said in a statement:
“We have issued a Notice of Action in Canada against the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that asks for $210 million in damages over allegations made by its program, ‘Marketplace,’ that are defamatory and absolutely false.
Despite our efforts to share the facts with the CBC about the high quality of our chicken and to express our strong objections to their inaccurate claims, they have not issued a retraction, as we requested.” 
The segment that aired on February 24, 2017 reported that the DNA test of Subway’s chicken showed that its oven-roasted chicken contained 53.6% chicken and that its chicken strips contained 42.8% poultry. 
Subway said in its statement:
“Test results from laboratories in Canada and the US clearly show that the Canadian chicken products tested had only trace amounts of soy, contradicting the accusations made during the broadcast of ‘CBC Marketplace.'” 
It went on to say:
“Our chicken is 100% white meat with seasonings, marinated and delivered to our stores as a finished, cooked product. We have advised them [CBC] of our strong objections. We do not know how they produced such unreliable and factually incorrect data, but we are insisting on a full retraction. Producing high quality food for our customers is our highest priority. This report is wrong and it must be corrected.” 
Subway franchisee Bob Grewal, who oversees Subway restaurants in Canada near where the DNA-tested chicken was sold, claims that Trent University told Subway officials that “the CBC twisted all the facts.” 
However, the president of Trent University, Leo Groarke, is standing by the results. He said in a statement:
“At Trent we are proud to champion independent research. Defending good science is one of the key roles of universities in society. We are proud of the work of our Wildlife Forensic DNA Laboratory, its faculty and staff. It is important to stand up for sound scientific findings, particularly when they are unpopular.” 
The CBC is standing by the findings as well and said:
“We believe our journalism to be sound and there is no evidence that we’ve seen that would lead us to change our position.” 
Grewal also said that the CBC called Subway 2 weeks before the segment and “asked us a very specific question about the soy content in our food’’ – namely, what the percentage was. However, the CBC failed to inform Subway that it had been conducting DNA tests and taste tests with customers, according to Grewal.
“The fact is these guys sideswiped us. This was purposely done to drive ratings.” 
A week after the February 24 report was broadcast, Subway published a rebuttal, saying that it had two independent labs test its chicken – one in the U.S. and one in Canada – and both found only trace amounts of soy. 
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Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.