Subway has responded to the New York Times report about its own investigation into the mystery meat used for the tuna sandwiches.
We previously reported that two California women have filed a lawsuit against Subway, claiming its tuna contains no tuna or any fish.
According to a lawsuit filed against the fast-food chain, Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin allege Subway’s tuna is a “mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna, yet have been blended together by defendants to imitate the appearance of tuna.”
Dhanowa and Amin believe they “were tricked into buying food items that wholly lacked the ingredients they reasonably thought they were purchasing,” based on its labeling, according to the lawsuit filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, CBS reported.
Amid the lawsuit, The New York Times did its own analysis. The newspaper used “60 inches’ worth of Subway tuna sandwiches” purchased from three locations in LA, and shipped the frozen meat to a commercial lab for analysis.
Last week, the New York Times on Sunday published the results: “No amplifiable tuna DNA was present in the sample and so we obtained no amplification products from the DNA. Therefore, we cannot identify the species.”
A representative for the lab said there are two possible scenarios for this outcome.
“There’s two conclusions. One, it’s so heavily processed that whatever we could pull out, we couldn’t make an identification,” a lab spokesperson explained. “Or we got some and there’s just nothing there that’s tuna.” A fish expert also posits if identifying the sample was made difficult because the protein was broken down after being cooked.
Subway has responded to the lab results, noting in a statement that “DNA testing is simply not a reliable way to identify denatured proteins”
“A recent New York Times report indicates that DNA testing is an unreliable methodology for identifying processed tuna. This report supports and reflects the position that Subway has taken in relation to a meritless lawsuit filed in California and with respect to DNA testing as a means to identify cooked proteins,” the statement reads, per Business Insider. “DNA testing is simply not a reliable way to identify denatured proteins, like Subway’s tuna, which was cooked before it was tested.”
“Unfortunately, various media outlets have confused the inability of DNA testing to confirm a specific protein with a determination that the protein is not present,” the statement added. “The testing that the New York Times report references does not show that there is not tuna in Subway’s tuna. All it says is that the testing could not confirm tuna, which is what one would expect from a DNA test of denatured proteins.”
The chain said their tuna is “100% wild-caught, cooked tuna.”
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