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Supreme Court clears path for defamation suit against CBC for show on chicken content

Network aimed to halt defamation lawsuit over report on Subway's chicken sandwiches.


July 22, 2021
By The Canadian Press

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The Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear a bid by the CBC to halt a defamation lawsuit from Subway over a report on the fast-food chain’s chicken sandwiches.

The decision clears the way for the suit to proceed in Ontario court.

In January, the Ontario Court of Appeal set aside a judge’s decision to dismiss Subway’s suit without a hearing on its merits, saying the untested claim was far from frivolous and deserved a thorough airing.

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The CBC television show “Marketplace” said in 2017 that about half the DNA in Subway chicken was in fact chicken and the other half soy, based on testing done at Ontario’s Trent University.

A Subway expert on DNA methods and food testing said the tests were seriously flawed and their results inaccurate, maintaining the company’s own tests found no more than one per cent soy.

In a related decision, the Supreme Court also declined to hear Subway’s challenge of a parallel appeal court ruling that prevented the chain’s negligence claim against Trent from proceeding.