Grilled Chicken Lawsuit Accuses McDonald's of Serving Cancer-Causing Meat

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 in Uncategorized

by Slashfood Editor (Subscribe to Slashfood Editor’s posts)

A new class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday in Connecticut alleges McDonald’s, Burger King and Friendly’s failed to warn customers that their grilled chicken could cause cancer.

The suit, filed by two Connecticut residents in the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut: Judicial District of Hartford, claims the chains failed to warn consumers that they’re serving grilled poultry containing the compound PhIP, which the state of California considers to be a carcinogen. A similar lawsuit filed in California last month against KFC targeted the Colonel’s Kentucky Grilled Chicken.

The Cancer Project, the nonprofit that filed the suit on behalf of the residents, says eating PhIP — even in small amounts — can increase one’s risk of cancer.

“Consumers deserve to know that grilled chicken from McDonald’s and other fast-food chains can increase your risk of cancer,” Cancer Project President Dr. Neal D. Barnard said in a statement. “Even a grilled-chicken salad increases the risk of developing some cancers, including breast and prostate cancer.”

But a McDonald’s spokeswoman said customer “safety and well-being” is a “top priority.”

“Scientific research shows that PhIP is naturally occurring, and is created when chicken is grilled — whether at home — or in a restaurant. It may be present at low concentrations in oven-broiled, pan-fried, and grilled meats, as a result of normal cooking,” Cynthia Goody, McDonald’s nutrition director, said. “There is no scientific evidence to suggest the small amount of PhIP that can be created as a by-product of cooking methods humans have employed for thousands of years, poses a health risk.

“Like other restaurant companies and food establishments, at McDonald’s, we continue to look to the FDA and USDA for their guidance on PhIP,” her statement continued. “Beyond that, because this is a pending legal matter, it would be inappropriate to further comment or speculate.”