Are Modern Broiler Chickens Healthy?

This question is inspired by the claim that the modern breed of chickens has nothing unhealthy in them because they are genetically bred to be like this.


The fact is:

Some people are concerned about the nature of the modern broiler chickens, especially when they see the featherless breed. These chickens are different not because they are genetically modified. According to the National Chicken Council, no chickens are genetically modified in the United States. Instead, they are raised from a natural process of selecting and crossbreeding to achieve better qualities. Modern broiler chickens grow three times faster than the traditional breeds of chickens, and the fast growth leads to the chickens’ health problems. The chickens’ bones, joints and internal organs may face the risk of breakdown. Common diseases include ascites, heart attacks, lung collapse and leg problems. Obesity is the cause of most of the problems just like the case in the human beings. When broiler chickens reach 6 weeks old, 90% of them become so obese that they can no longer walk. As a result, it is arbitrary to claim that these chickens have nothing unhealthy in them. In fact, they are suffering from serious health problems.

Please click here to read National Chicken Council’s explanation on GMO use in the chicken industry. To read more on chickens’ diseases, please check out the article on here and here.


Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Use in the Chicken Industry – The National Chicken Council. (2013, June 5). Retrieved November 20, 2014, from

McCarthy, A. (2013, December 19). Broiler Chickens Found At Grocery Retailers Grow Three Times Faster Than Normal Chickens, Plagued With Lameness and Disease. Retrieved November 20, 2014, from

Gauthier, J., & Ludlow, R. (n.d.). Health Problems Unique to Chickens Raised for Meat. Retrieved November 20, 2014, from

The Chicken Industry. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2014, from


Recent Posts

About The Website

This website is a fact-checking project for the Food Politics class of the Communication, Culture and Technology (CCT) program at Georgetown University. The project focuses on the food documentary Fresh (2009) and examines the claims made in the film. Please refer to the introduction page for further information of the film. Also, please feel free to leave your comments on each claim’s section. Let’s start the fact-checking journey now!