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A deep dive into chicken labels: Criteria

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REPORT BY CRITERIA
   -Prudent antibiotic use
   -Prohibits growth hormones
   -Prohibits animal byproducts in the diet
   -GMOs in feed
   -Prohibits synthetic pesticides/ fertilizers in feed production
   -Prohibits synthetic amino acids
   -Limit on rapid weight gain
   -Outdoor access
   -Indoor enrichment
   -Indoor space
   -Air quality
   -Artificial light and darkness
   -Catching and crating
   -Transport time limit
   -Natural v. dim light
   -Slaughter treatment
   -Slaughter line speed
REPORT BY LABEL
FULL REPORT: ALL CRITERIA AND LABELS

Air quality

The buildup of urine and manure inside the poultry houses, which are typically cleaned only between flocks, can lead to high levels of ammonia in the air. The human nose can detect ammonia starting at 5 ppm, and levels can rise to 25 ppm or higher. High ammonia levels irritate chicken's lung and eye tissues, and can lead to respiratory diseases and eye lesions. High levels of ammonia have also been shown to cause increased susceptibility to disease.

Air quality: Criteria key

industry baseline

standards state that ammonia levels should be less than 15 ppm but allow levels as high as 25 ppm before the producer is required to take action to reduce ammonia levels; or, standards allow levels of ammonia as high as 20 ppm.

standards state that ammonia levels should be less than 10 ppm but allow levels as high as 25 ppm before the producer is required to take action to reduce ammonia levels.

birds have adequate access to the outdoors. Housing is designed to prevent ammonia buildup and producers must take remedial action when ammonia levels reach 5-10 ppm.



Air quality: How labels stack up against criteria

CHICKEN LABELS REPORT - Criteria: Air quality
Label Air quality How label stacks up against criteria
Conventional

American Humane Association Certified

ammonia levels should be less than 10 ppm and must not exceed 25 ppm
Animal Welfare Approved

action must be taken to eliminate source of ammonia when ammonia can be smelled - around 5 ppm
Certified Humane

ammonia levels should be less than 10 ppm and must not exceed 25 ppm except during brief periods of severe inclement weather when ventilation is affected; outdoor access is not required
Certified Naturally Grown

Demeter Biodynamic

poultry must be protected from harmful gasses such as ammonia; must have outdoor access; no more than 3000 birds per house, but there is no quantitative standard
Food Alliance

ammonia should be below 15 ppm and may not exceed 25 ppm except for short periods of time
Free Range

GAP Step 1

up to 20 ppm; no outdoor access
GAP Step 2

up to 20 ppm; no outdoor access
GAP Step 3

up to 20 ppm; outdoor access allows chickens to access fresh air
GAP Step 4

up to 20 ppm; outdoor access allows chickens to access fresh air
GAP Step 5

up to 20 ppm; outdoor access allows chickens to access fresh air
GAP Step 5+

up to 20 ppm; outdoor access allows chickens to access fresh air
Natural or All Natural

No antibiotics administered

USDA Organic

Vegetarian Fed or No Animal By-Products

Humanely Raised

No growth hormones

Kosher

USDA Process Verified - Never Ever 3

USDA Process Verified - Humanely Raised (National Chicken Council Welfare Standards)

ammonia levels should not exceed 25 ppm
Non-GMO Project Verified


See the full report with all labels and criteria


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