Seaboard Foods changes language on animal treatment

Seaboard Foods has resolved a complaint against it with the Federal Trade Commission by dropping its claim to using “the most humane practices throughout the animal’s life.”

Seaboard, based in Merriam, is the No. 3 U.S. pork producer. The Humane Society of the United States made the complaint mainly because of the confinement of breeding pigs to small gestation crates.

“While we are confident in our practices, we have worked closely and collaboratively with the Federal Trade Commission to update a limited amount of language on our website to ensure that there is no confusion or misinterpretation,” Seaboard said in a statement.

“We are happy that this matter has been resolved without formal FTC action and look forward to working closely with regulatory agencies to address any concerns quickly and constructively.”

The Humane Society said it was pleased that Seaboard had changed its “misleading online advertising” but would have preferred it change “its actual practices.”

In response to its campaigns, the Humane Society said, other producers such as Smithfield Foods, Cargill and Hormel Foods “have begun moving away from gestation crates,” and dozens of companies, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Costco and Oscar Mayer, are phasing out buying from producers who use the crates.