HSI urges PM to legislate ‘free range’ egg standard

Today 40,000 individual postcards will be delivered to Julia Gillard’s door in protest of the continued mislabelling of free range eggs.

The organisation behind the protest, Human Society International (HSI) will be garnering support for a national standard in the lead-up to the federal election. HSI believes that increasing levels of consumer concern has not been taken seriously by industry and the state government as they both remain indifferent toward the issue.

“Never before have we witnessed consumer outrage on the scale that has been brought before the ACCC, the media and motivated so many into action. Coles, Woolworths and the egg industry peak body Australian Egg Corporation (AEC) have underrated their consumer,” said Lee McCosker, Chief Operating Officer for Humane Choice.

“They have attempted to take advantage of the consumer’s limited knowledge of egg production systems while toying with their concerns for hen welfare and reaping a premium for mislabelled eggs.”

The initiative which distributed postcards in certified free range egg cartons has resulted in an overwhelming response from concerned consumers, according to McCosker.

“There is much more at stake here than a simple descriptor on a carton. The term free range has implications for hen welfare, the sustainability of our Australian family farms, as well as what it means to the consumers who pay a premium for those eggs.”

HSI is urging the federal government to take action by legislating a national standard for free range eggs. HSI believes that the AEC is ‘out of touch’ with both consumers and legitimate free range producers, stating that self-regulation of the industry has resulted in “an absolute disaster.”

“There is a very simple solution. Call these intensively produced eggs something else and leave the term free range to the producers who have spent their lives creating this market,” said McCosker.


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