Chickens used for the popular KFC brand are genetically modified to have eight legs and six wings, according to rumors spreading across Chinese social media platform, WeChat. KFC China has since announced it is suing three companies for spreading of false information.
KFC chickens in poultry have eight legs and six wings
The rumors that KFC is homing chickens with eight legs and six wings in their poultries, disseminated by 10 WeChat accounts, were read more than 100,000 times just within the month of April alone. The rumors have Photoshopped images of the genetically modified chickens to back up the claims.
Yum Brands Inc, the company that owns KFC, said in a statement that it saw 4,000 different versions of the fabricated stories. The company has since announced it is suing three companies it identified as culprits for the defamation.
Yum is suing Ying Chen An Zhi Chenggong Culture Communications Ltd. in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, and Wei Lu Kuang Technology and Ling Dian Technology in inland Shanxi province. Yum wants each company to pay up to 1.5 million yuan or $242,000, to apologize and stop spreading rumors or any similar activities.
“The rumors about KFC using chickens with six wings and eight legs have been around a long time,” KFC’s China said in a statement seen by Reuters. The company said if such stories were true, the company should have already won a Nobel Prize.
Apparently, defamation is common in China and companies are struggling to fight such practice, The Associated Press reported. The Chinese government has already stepped-up efforts to combat online defamation.
“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,” KFC’s China CEO Qu Cuirong was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.
KFC mutant chicken rumors has been ongoing since 1999
Different versions of these rumors have long been being circulated around the web. The earliest email of this kind went around in 1999, according to Snopes.com. The rumors include stories that KFC chickens in poultries could barely walk because they were injected with chemicals for them to develop large breasts, thighs and wings.
The urban legend started when KFC announced its name change from Kentucky Fried Chicken to just KFC in 1991. The rumor has it that a federal ruling ordered for the company to drop “chicken” in its name because it is not using real chicken in its menu.
The truth of the matter is that KFC dropped “chicken” from its name because it started offering food aside from its fried chicken, Snopes.com said. The company also dropped “fried” in order to avoid the negative connotation of the word in relation to the health conscious target market.
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