NCC is strongly protesting as “outrageously untrue” report on KSDK-TV in St. Louis that repeated, without verification, an Internet posting on the composition of chicken nuggets. The story is showing up on other properties owned by the Gannet chain, which owns KSDK.

“On behalf of our industry, I demand a correction with at least as much length and prominence as the original falsehoods,” NCC Communications Director Richard L. Lobb wrote to KSDK news director Mike Shipley about a report by local media personality Jamie Allman that ran on Monday.  Shipley requested the letter after speaking to Lobb on the phone.

Allman repeated almost verbatim a set of assertions that appeared on the Internet last September, stating that the meat for nuggets comes from caged layers and that all chicken nuggets are made from mechanically separated poultry (MSP), washed with ammonia to kill bacteria, treated with artificial flavoring, and dyed to remove the pink color often associated with MSP.

“Absolutely untrue,” Lobb wrote, pointing out that major brands of nuggets do not usually include MSP and that ammonia treatment is not used in chicken.

“I can’t say (MSP) is never used in nuggets because there are many formulations of nuggets, but to suggest that nuggets are usually made from MSP is simply untrue,” Lobb wrote.  “It is also untrue to suggest, as Mr. Allman did, that all nuggets are the same.  There are in fact hundreds of variations.”

Lobb provided a copy of a blog posting from September that included these assertions, one of many uses of the same statements that have been circulating on the Internet.  NCC rebutted the posting last year, and an article correcting most of the errors is posted to the mythbusting site and other Internet sites.

“I understand that bloggers tend to have very low standards of accuracy, but I am surprised to find that a journalist for a major TV station would stoop to simply ripping off a blogger,” Lobb wrote.  “What kind of reporting is that?”

NCC is contacting USA Today and other Gannett-owned outlets to try to stem the spread of the erroneous information.  NCC’s letter is posted to the Web Site