New York, NY – June 28, 2023 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising body of BBB National Programs, recommended that One Health Certification Foundation (OHC), an Iowa non-profit responsible for the One Health Certified standard, discontinue certain animal welfare, antibiotic use, and environmental impact claims used on the OHC website and label.
The advertising at issue had been challenged by The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a non-profit corporation, and the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center, an academic organization housed in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 7129), OHC appealed NAD’s recommendations to discontinue specific claims regarding its animal care certification system.
In agreement with NAD, the NARB panel concluded that the claims at issue are misleading and determined that the OHC label conveys to reasonable consumers that OHC’s poultry care standards exceed industry norms, even though they are similar to industry standards. The NARB panel further found that the claims communicated by the label are not properly clarified through a link on the label directing consumers to its website for additional information.
The NARB panel recommended that OHC discontinue:
- Certain express animal welfare claims as well as modify its label and website to avoid conveying that OHC-certified producers maintain the most, or one of the most rigorous animal welfare programs among chicken and turkey producers, or that OHC significantly exceeds industry animal welfare standards.
- “Antibiotic restrictions” and “responsible antibiotic use” claims as well as modify its label and website to avoid conveying that OHC-certified producers use antibiotics more judiciously than the industry standard and significantly exceed industry antibiotic use standards.
- “Supports environmental stewardship classes in order to minimize the impact of animal production on the environment,” and its “environmental impact” claim as well as modify its label and website to avoid conveying that OHC exceeds industry standards for environmental stewardship, OHC-certified farmers and producers use environmentally friendly production practices, and OHC-certified producers do not employ production practices that are harmful to the environment.
OHC stated that it “believes the claims at issue in its NARB appeal clearly convey to consumers what the OHC program entails, and we respectfully disagree with the NARB’s finding that the claims are misleading. That said, OHC appreciates the NARB’s time and attention to this matter.” OHC further stated, “we intend to update OHC’s website in accordance with the NARB’s recommendations” and noted that it will “engage with USDA to ensure that the seal itself is truthful and not misleading, consistent with the NARB’s recommendations.”
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Review Board (NARB): The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) is the appellate body for BBB National Programs’ advertising self-regulatory programs. NARB’s panel members include 85 distinguished volunteer professionals from the national advertising industry, agencies, and public members, such as academics and former members of the public sector. NARB serves as a layer of independent industry peer review that helps engender trust and compliance in NAD, CARU, and DSSRC matters.