BEIJING Dec 18 Fast food giant KFC's Chinese
subsidiary pledged on Tuesday to
work with authorities in investigating claims by state
television that its chicken suppliers had injected anti-viral
drugs and growth hormones in its poultry.
State television CCTV said that a commercial chicken
producer called Liu He Zhi Tuan had been feeding antiviral drugs
and growth hormones to its chickens - right up until they were
slaughtered. The chickens were then supplied to KFC and
McDonalds, without any kind of quality checks.
KFC said it would punish its chicken suppliers harshly if
they are found to have flouted the law by doing so.
"KFC attaches great importance to the contents of the media
report and will actively cooperate with the relevant government
departments' investigation," KFC said in its official online
"If (we) find out that our suppliers have conducted any
illegal activity, (we) will handle it strictly," the company
McDonald's said in its official microblog that its
chicken and raw materials pass through independent, third-party
"Our chicken products comply with stringent food quality
standards and comply with the relevant government standards,"
the company said. "Please, everyone, don't worry about eating
China has struggled to rein in health violations in the
unruly and vast food sector despite harsh punishments and
repeated vows to deal with the problem.
The country is notorious for its food safety woes, with
regular news reports of fake cooking oil, tainted milk and even
watermelons that explode from absorbing too much fertiliser.
The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration is conducting
tests in the poultry that has been supplied to a logistics
centre in Shanghai of the KFC parent company, Yum Brands Inc
, according to state news agency Xinhua.
A Yum Brands spokesman dismissed as "untrue" media reports
in late November that the supplier of 1 percent of KFC's chicken
in China was giving its birds feed containing toxic additives.
He declined to say whether the rumours hurt Yum's sales results.
Yum Brands warned in November that it expected sales at
established restaurants in China to fall 4 percent in the fourth
quarter, despite an improvement in economic indicators such as
consumer confidence and retail sales. Yum shares are down more
than 11 percent since the warning.