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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

KFC's Mutant Chickens Threaten World Domination!

by Ken Newquist / February 19, 2002

Mutant chickens are running amok in the fast food industry! In an effort to save costs, Kentucky Fried Chicken ditched its full name, switched to KFC and began using genetically engineer quasi chickens that taste like chicken, but are kept alive through dubious means.

Unfortunately for chickens everywhere, this is a hoax.

I first debunked this in 2000, but decided to go back and update it a bit. This version has a few more links debunking the hoax.

Here's the original e-mail

Date Collected: January 31, 2000

YUCK!. This is VERY Disturbing - I haven't been to KFC in years -- This was sent to me so I'm just sharing the information.

KFC has been a part of our American traditions for many years. Many people, day in and day out, eat at KFC religiously. Do they really know what they are eating? During a recent study of KFC done at the University of New Hampshire, they found some very upsetting facts. First of all, has anybody noticed that just recently, the company has changed their name?

Kentucky Fried Chicken has become KFC. Does anybody know why? We thought the real reason was because of the "FRIED" food issue. It's not. The reason why they call it KFC is because they can not use the word chicken anymore.

Why?

KFC does not use real chickens. They actually use genetically manipulated organisms. These so called "chickens" are kept alive by tubes inserted into their bodies to pump blood and nutrients throughout their structure. They have no beaks, no feathers, and no feet. Their bone structure is dramatically shrunk to get more meat out of them.

This is great for KFC because they do not have to pay so much for their production costs. There is no more plucking of the feathers or the removal of the beaks and feet. The government has told them to change all of their menus so they do not say chicken anywhere. If you look closely you will notice this. Listen to their commercials, I guarantee you will not see or hear the word chicken.

I find this matter to be very disturbing. I hope people will start to realize this and let other people know. Please forward this message to as many people as you can. Together we make KFC start using real chicken again.

After having been subjected to a half-dozen various of the AOL free money hoax, this one was a welcome relief. Here's a hoax that someone clearly had a lot of fun making up, and it shows some traces of originality. It conjures up visions of warehouses stacked deep with Frankenstein chickens, all the while playing on fears of genetic engineering and distrust of corporations.

But it is a hoax, no matter what that overzealous friend of a friend told you.

How do we know?

  • "Here chicken, chicken, chicken": Right off the bat, the hoax tells us that KFC can't use the word "chicken" in its advertisements -- this just isn't so. All of the KFC adds I've seen lately talk about its new "chicken" specials. Oh, and the official KFC web site says chicken right on the front page.
  • What year was that? The hoax says Kentucky Fried Chicken changed it's name recently ... but it actually happened in 1991
  • Denial from the University of New Hampshire: The hoax says the university uncovered the terrible truth through a study; the university says it did no such study. Read the university's debunking.
  • Where's the government? If KFC is under some sort of gag order from the government, why is the USDA or some other government agency after them for violating this order on their Web site? Which brings me to my next point ...
  • Where's the news? In a world in which Green activites go ga-ga over genetically engineered tomatoes and Taco Bell's accidental sale of GE corn tacos inspires national headlines, one would imagine that a little something like mutant chickens would garner a little bit of news. But alas there hasn't been a peep.

That should be enough to shoot down this hoax, but if you want more, check out these sites:

  • USA Today: A column about urban legends and e-mail hoaxes in general, including this one.
  • Urbanlegends.com: A summary debunking of this hoax.
  • About.com's Urban Legends Guide: The guide talks with KFC and the folks at the University of New Hampshire.
  • Snopes.com: Another of Snope's thorough debunkings, this one includes links to other fast-food horror stories (like the earlier KFC fried rat hoax, which includes a note about the fried chicken head that actually was found at a McDonald's).