Another controversial campaign by the nonprofit People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, better known as PETA, went up on Twitter on Thursday, announcing that "eating chicken can make your kid's dick small." The video ended with, "Worried about the size of your kid's pecker, moms-to-be? Don't eat chicken!"
The not-so-delicately-worded claim blamed phthalates, which are chemicals used for plastic and personal products, as the culprit. The video referenced a 2008 study, claiming that it inversely correlated how much chicken a pregnant person ate with how big the offspring's penis size was, according to the video and a comment by PETA. The study failed to mention the words "chicken" and "poultry," however.
Phthalates are typically found in things such as detergents, hair sprays and raincoats, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But humans can also encounter them by consuming foods and beverages that have come into contact with the plasticizer, the chemicals are metabolized and passed out through urine, leaving little health risk.
As far as poultry goes, it can be contaminated by phthalates through the chicken feed or its packaging, according to a 2014 Washington Post article.
Some research has found that certain animals' reproductive systems to have been affected by the consumption of phthalates, according to the CDC. Other studies have found excessive levels of phthalates to be unhealthy for infants but fine for adults — without mention of how it affects penis size, according to the Washington Post.
People reacted strongly to the video, with some saying, "So what you're saying is I should eat only meat from animals not bred for food, like dogs and cats." Others delved into the study to contradict PETA's claims toward chicken, and subsequently called out PETA for being "misleading."
Others just got a good laugh from it.