The company that owns KFC is trying to dispel rumors that it genetically modified its meat and manufactured an eight-legged, six-winged chicken to serve to customers.
Yum Brands, which owns China’s largest fried-chicken chain, said in a statement Monday that it has sued three companies there that have been spreading false rumors on social media — among them that the restaurant delivered maggot-infested food and created a deformed chicken. It wants $242,000 and an apology from all three defendants…
KFC, which has more than 4,600 restaurants in China, has been fighting for its reputation for years. In 2012, Chinese media outlets reported that a KFC supplier had been using growth hormones and antibiotics to grow larger chickens…The accusations spurred fears about the country’s food safety. Then last year, KFC, along with McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, had to apologize to customers after a supplier was caught on video violating safety regulations — picking up meat from the factory floor and tossing it into mixers and touching meat on the assembly line with bare hands. There were also complaints that the meat was expired.
“When I saw that, I said, ‘Uh-oh, here’s six to nine months of problems,’” Yum chief executive David Novak told investors at the time…
KFC’s China CEO Qu Cuirong said in a statement that it is difficult for companies to guard against falsehoods, because it’s hard to get evidence, the Associated Press reported. “But the stepped-up efforts by the government in recent years to purify the online environment, as well as some judicial interpretations, have offered us confidence and weapons,” she said.
Even though physical, scientific evidence is easy to produce – especially when accusers have nothing to offer other than “what-ifs” and “maybes” – you still run the risk of know-nothings simply picking up and running with the headlines from low-lifes pretending to be investigative journalists.
We all know a few folks who will believe those headlines because it fits their view of the world around them.