McDonald’s and Canadian cattle producers debunk persistent Internet hoax

LANIGAN, Sask. — McDonald’s Canada and the president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association are trying to counter what they say is false information being spread by an Internet hoax.

LANIGAN, Sask. — McDonald’s Canada and the president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association are trying to counter what they say is false information being spread by an Internet hoax.

The hoax email purports to be from an Alberta cattle-feeding group and calls for a boycott of the fast-food chain because it says McDonald’s has plans to buy most of its beef from South America.

Not true, association president Brad Wildeman said Monday.

He’s been receiving the email in one form or another since 2003 and in the past, has tried personally emailing the sender to refute it.

Because the email has been so widely circulated, the association thought it was time to set the record straight, he said.

“We needed to take a more proactive stance and not only say it’s not true and it’s a hoax, but here’s the real facts behind what’s going on,” Wildeman said.

McDonald’s Canada buys as much home-grown beef as it can, and the company said in a news release that translates into using about 29 million kilograms each year to feed over two million Canadian customers.

The restaurant giant said it has bought small quantities of beef from New Zealand, Australia and the United States in the past but adds that the vast majority of its beef comes from Canadian producers.

“McDonald’s Canada proudly supports the beef industry,” said company senior vice-president Jeff Kroll in a news release.

“Beef is at the core of our menu and with the help of our dedicated Canadian partners in the industry, we are meeting the needs of our customers by delivering safety, quality, consistency and innovation in our varied beef offerings.”

Ron Christianson, director of communications for McDonald’s, said the company wanted to set the record straight.

“It’s important to our customers to know that we do source Canadian where possible and certainly when it comes to beef, we’re very proud of the fact that all of our beef is 100 per cent sourced in Canada and produced in Canada,” he said in a telephone interview from Toronto.

In a statement on its website, the company declared the chain email a hoax.

“At McDonald’s Canada, we currently source 100 per cent of our beef from farms and ranches right across Canada and have no plans today to purchase any beef from South America,” the website says.

According to the restaurant chain, the email first surfaced in the United States in 2002, claiming to be from beef producers in Texas.

It may not always be possible for Canadian beef producers to supply all the lean meat McDonald’s needs, but Wildeman said any beef brought in from other countries would have to meet stringent food safety regulations.

“Although this seems to be a bit of an attack on McDonald’s, what we’re really looking at is questioning the safety of our food products,” he said. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspects meat from other countries and it has to meet minimum food safety requirements, he added.

“No country, regardless of how cheaply they want to sell their products, can bring beef into this country unless it meets the stringent safety requirements that the CFIA has,” Wildeman said.

He has visited the company’s beef plants and said McDonald’s has among the highest safety measures available.

“This idea that just because they’re a low priced, fast-service restaurant that they don’t care about food safety, (it) simply isn’t true,” Wildeman said.

Just Posted

Despite warnings, plenty of temptations to thieves left in vehicles

Lock It or Lose It campaign still finding plenty of valuables left in plain sight

WATCH: Notley invites central Albertans to “team up” with New Democrats for equitable, prosperous future

NDP leader lashes out against her rival, Jason Kenney, calling him a cheater

Red Deer sees highest rate of fentanyl deaths

47 fentanyl-related deaths in 2018

Why Solar: Canada needs to get its collective house in order

Canada needs to get a grip. The country has one of the… Continue reading

Gardening: Take care when making plant purchases

After a cold February, the longer sunny days and warmer weather triggers… Continue reading

Canadian pair fifth after short program at figure skating worlds

SAITAMA, Japan — Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro are fifth after… Continue reading

Director Kim Nguyen tackles financial ‘madness’ in ‘The Hummingbird Project’

TORONTO — As Quebec filmmaker Kim Nguyen tells it, “The Hummingbird Project”… Continue reading

What Disney gets as its $71.3B buy of Fox assets closes

It’s finally complete. Disney closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment… Continue reading

Opinion: Let’s be heard ‘loud and clear’ during provincial election campaign

By David Marsden During the banquet for Sunday’s Boston Bruins alumni game,… Continue reading

Documentary on Colten Boushie case to open Toronto’s Hot Docs festival

TORONTO — A film examining the case of a young Indigenous man… Continue reading

Most Read