SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Rumors on Chinese social media that KFC uses genetically-modified chickens with six wings and eight legs have prompted a lawsuit by the fast-food company.

Yum Brands Inc.’s KFC filed a lawsuit against 3 companies in China for spreading the alleged false claims. The companies named are Shanxi Weilukuang Technology Company Ltd., Taiyuan Zero Point Technology Company and Yingchenanzhi Success and Culture Communication Ltd. in Shenzhen city.

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In the lawsuit, KFC states the companies spread rumors, “misleading the consumer,” on microblogs and through photos and articles, according to MarketWatch.

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The company is demanding 1.5 million yuan ($242,000) and an apology from each company. KFC is also demanding an end to the alleged practices.

Chinese shoppers walk through Beijing's main downtown shopping promenade past a KFC franchise. (STEPHEN SHAVER/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese shoppers walk through Beijing’s main downtown shopping promenade past a KFC franchise. (STEPHEN SHAVER/AFP/Getty Images)


The company best known for ‘finger-lickin’ good’ fried chicken is China’s biggest restaurant operator with some 4600 restaurants in that country.

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Genetically-modified organisms in food is a hot-button issue in the U.S. with more and more U.S. restaurants phasing out GMOs from their menus, and campaigns to label genetically engineered ingredients in food. San Francisco-based Label GMOs is one of many grassroots organizations pushing for ballot initiatives to label foods made with GMOs.