KFC Sues Three Chinese Companies For Allegedly Starting Rumors It Uses Eight-Legged Chickens

Kentucky Fried Chicken wants customers to know that it hasn’t created mutant chickens with eight legs and six wings to fill its big ol’ buckets. While one might think the notion of a chicken with more than two wings and two legs is a bit farcical, a rumor of such genetically modified birds has been circulating in China, leading KFC’s parent company to file lawsuits against three Chinese businesses for allegedly concocting and publicizing fabricated stories about the chain’s products on social media.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Yum Brands filed lawsuits against the companies for supposedly spreading false claims about KFC’s food and supplier practices, leading the restaurant’s image to become tarnished.

KFC alleges in the lawsuits that the companies spread rumors on microblogs and through photos and articles online that purposely misled consumers about the quality of its food.

Among the falsehoods KFC says the companies disseminated are accusations that chickens used by the restaurant are genetically modified to have six wings and eight legs.

According to the WSJ, Yum is seeking about $245,000 in compensation from Ying Chen An Zhi Chenggong Culture Communications Ltd., Wei Lu Kuang Technology and Ling Dian Technology.

KFC said in a statement that brought the legal action after the Chinese government began a campaign to dispel and discourage rampant social media rumors.

The lawsuits are just the latest attempt by KFC to repair its image in China. Back in 2012, Chinese media reported that a supplier of the restaurant used growth hormones and antibiotics to help chickens grow faster, which led to worries over the safety of the company’s food, the WSJ reports.

A rep for KFC says that the chain has since strengthened its supplier management practices.

KFC Sues Chinese Companies Over Alleged Eight-Legged Chicken Rumors [The Wall Street Journal]