An A&W marketing campaign in Canada promoting beef “without added hormones or steroids” as a better alternative to other beef options is facing criticism from the beef industry.
The “Better Beef” campaign was announced in September and features A&W beef suppliers on its website. The restaurant says it uses beef without any added hormones or steroids, and only uses antibiotics for therapeutic purposes from select ranches.
Rich Smith, executive director of Alberta Beef Producers told CBC News the campaign is misleading because the beef is not better, only raised differently.
"We don't think it's better beef. We think it's beef from cattle that are raised differently than the vast majority of cattle in Canada and the United States," Smith told CBC News.
Smith says the hormones used in the beef industry are miniscule and are found to be safe to human health. Furthermore, the hormones allow producers to house more animals on less land, limiting the farm’s environmental footprint.
Producers were also concerned with the restaurant’s global beef suppliers and would rather the company develop more business relationships with Canadian suppliers as opposed to working with ranches in the United States and Australia.