Subway says the allegations, made by CBC's Marketplace program, are "defamatory and absolutely false".
On February 24, 2017, CBC featured a story on its website with the headline "What's in your chicken sandwich? DNA test shows Subway sandwiches could contain just 50% chicken".
According to the story, Marketplace tested chicken from five major fast food restaurants and found that in two popular Subway sandwiches, the chicken tested only contained about half chicken DNA. The chicken tested from the other four fast food chains (A&W, McDonalds, Tim Hortons, and Wendy's) contained at least 84% chicken DNA.
Seeing as how the Subway chicken results were so different from the other restaurants, Marketplace repeated the tests with fresh samples of Subway chicken. But the same results were found: "the oven roasted chicken scored 53.6% chicken DNA, and the chicken strips were found to have just 42.8% chicken DNA." The majority of the remaining DNA was soy.
In response to the story, Suzanne Greco, Subway's president and chief executive, issued a statement saying, "The stunningly flawed test by Marketplace is a tremendous disservice to our customers," and that "the allegation that our chicken is only 50 per cent chicken is 100 per cent wrong."
Subway also had two independent labs test its chicken, and found that "the Canadian chicken products tested had only trace amounts of soy." Subway even took out a full page ad in The Globe and Mail with the statement, "Saying our chicken is only 50 per cent chicken is 100 per cent wrong."