Egg Labeling Lies: Take Action!Posted by Jennifer Molidor, ALDF's Staff Writer on March 28, 2013
Do we have the right to know how eggs are really produced? Consumers are increasingly concerned about the abusive, intensive confinement of the vast majority of the millions of egg-laying hens in the U.S. Strictly regulated labels like "cage-free," "free-range," and "eggs from caged hens" marking all egg cartons would allow U.S. consumers to make informed decisions about the origins of their eggs. That is why the Animal Legal Defense Fund, along with Compassion Over Killing, filed a lawsuit today against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for not regulating labeling on egg packaging. We have already requested full disclosure of egg-production methods–yet government agencies have taken no action.
The more people learn about the inhumane conditions hens suffer to produce these eggs, the more willing they are to spend more on eggs they think come from humanely treated hens. Several studies indicate that more than 75% of Americans find the harsh confinement of hens to be totally unacceptable. Thus, the multi-billion dollar egg industry provides producers with colossal incentives to mislead the public.
This is where the need for truth-in-advertising comes in. Images on egg cartons often imply egg-laying hens are raised in natural, outdoor environments that allow them to move freely, engage in natural behavior, and be amongst their chicks or roosters. But this is almost never the case, and nearly every carton fails to admit it when the eggs come from caged hens. Our lawsuit would require egg producers nationwide to mark their egg cartons with one of three statements: "Cage-Free," "Free-Range," or "Eggs from Caged Hens."
Meanwhile, this Easter, as a part of our Egg Action Week, we have a special "Easter-egg hunt" for you. We need your help finding deceptive egg packaging in grocery stores, farmers markets, or anywhere eggs are sold!
What to look for:
- Images of chickens in green pastures, small red barns, shining sun, green grass.
- Words like "all-natural," "open-air," "free-roaming," "animal-friendly," "lovingly-cared-for," or "gently-cared-for," or "farm-fresh."
- Names like "Sunny Meadows" or anything suggesting open space, ranch, family farm, ranch, happy hens, or havens.
If you are one of our many Twitter followers, tweet a photo to @ALDF of egg packaging that you believe might be deceptive. Make sure to include the brand of the egg in question. You can also email your photos to email@example.com. Happy hunting!