Consumers Demand Truth on Eggs

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren yesterday gave notice of a bill for truth-in-labelling of free range eggs sold in WA.

In the Senate today the Greens are calling for nationally consistent truth-in-labelling laws covering production methods in the egg industry as Humane Society International presented 40,000  postcards to the Prime Minister sent by consumers demanding action on free range egg standards and labelling.

“My Free Range Eggs Labelling Bill 2013 aims to protect consumers and free range farmers and help drive improvements in the treatment of laying hens,” said Ms MacLaren. “Many egg producers are doing the right thing, and they need help cutting through buyers’ confusion. Truth in labelling helps them earn a living.”

“The Greens are working together at a state and federal level to ensure that consumers can trust that the eggs they buy as “free range” are genuinely free range and not from hens living miserable lives in cages or sheds.”

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has made free range eggs one of seven priority areas for 2013, noting consumers want clear and accurate labelling of eggs.

“Humane Society International should be congratulated for bringing this strong message of public support for change to Canberra.

“Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig has been sitting on his hands even after the ACCC has raised the alarm, happy to leave shoppers in the dark and free range egg farmers with an uncertain future,” Senator Lee Rhiannon said today in Canberra.

“Free range eggs are big business, making up 28.4 per cent of the national market in 2010-11 and $200 million in retail sales,” Ms Rhiannon continued.

“There is a worldwide movement of people waking up to the problems of factory farming and expecting governments to act.

“While across Europe labelling of egg production systems is mandatory and caged birds are being banned, Australia lags well behind,” the Senator concluded.