Chicken instead of duck? Why the government allows misleading labeling on certain products

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The agri-food industry is currently facing a shortage of ducks. In this context, in order not to penalize manufacturers, the government now authorizes companies in the sector to modify recipes by replacing duck with chicken, without mentioning these modifications on the packaging.

In the next few weeks, your duck rillettes that you are going to buy in supermarkets could well be made in fact… of chicken. The agri-food industry, which is bearing the brunt of a shortage of duck, is today authorized to modify the recipe of certain dishes without this being mentioned on the product labels.

In practice, poultry farming has been hit by a particularly intense health crisis this year: “The poultry sector experienced its most serious health crisis this year with the most significant episode of avian flu that we have ever known. , explains Yann Nédélec, representative of Anvol – the meat poultry inter-branch organization – with BFM TV. Almost 20 million poultry have been victims of the virus”. The agri-food industry also accuses oil and egg tensions.


Faced with these shortages and in order not to penalize manufacturers who would not have time to print new packaging, the latter were authorized to modify their recipes without changing their labels. Since Monday, August 29, the products concerned by these modifications must be attached a sticker indicating the mention “derogation”.

“This is a small statement, which the consumer will have difficulty finding and which is absolutely not explicit… This does not inform the consumer about the reality of the transformations, affirms Olivier Andrault, food policy officer at UFC-Que Choisir, always with BFM TV. What we ask UFC-Que Choisir is that when there is a substantial change, this information must be displayed on the front, and visibly on the product packaging.

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Agri-food: the Gers remains faithful to 100% duck in its recipes

In the Gers, many professionals are surprised by the measure. Some of them preferred to diversify their offer, with new recipes that avoid over-dependence on duck: “We started making veal-based products, but put on sale jars stamped duck, whereas we put chicken in it, it’s really not on the agenda!” affirms for example the Maison Tête.

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