Subway is defending its tuna following a wave of accusations that it’s fake calling the claims "baseless" and "threatening" to its business.
The sandwich chain on Wednesday said a recent New York Times report claiming lab tests found no tuna DNA in its sandwiches is false.
"A recent New York Times report indicates that DNA testing is an unreliable methodology for identifying processed tuna," a spokesperson for Subway told FOX Business in a statement. "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. DNA testing is simply not a reliable way to identify denatured proteins, like Subway’s tuna, which was cooked before it was tested."
The Times had 60 inches of Subway tuna sandwiches from three different restaurants in Los Angeles frozen and sent to a lab in California which determined "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," according to the Times.
A spokesperson for the lab told the Times two potential reasons tuna was not detected in the sample: "One it’s so heavily processed that whatever we could pull out, we couldn’t make an identification … Or we got some and there’s just nothing there that’s tuna."
Subway, however, argued that the testing the Times report referenced "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 continued to maintain its restaurants "serve 100% wild-caught, cooked tuna, which is mixed with mayonnaise and used in freshly made sandwiches wraps and salads."
Subway continued to call the claims "baseless" and a threat to its franchisees and small business owners.
The food fraud claims brought on against the sandwich chain stem from a class-action suit filed in California in January alleging Subway’s tuna is made from "a mixture of various concoctions," first reported by the Washington Post.
Subway noted in its statement that the plaintiffs in the California lawsuit "abandoned their original claim that Subway’s tuna product does not contain tuna" and filed an amended complaint alleging its tuna is not 100% tuna and that it's not sustainably caught skipjack and yellowfin tuna.