United Egg Producers’ logo is a loser

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2006:

PHILADELPHIA–Cruelty charges brought against Esbenshade
Farms in January 2006 “are part of campaigns by Compassion Over
Killing and HSUS against the egg industry practice of confining hens
in wire cages without nests or room to stretch their wings,”
Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Harold Brubaker noted.
“Under pressure from Compassion Over Killing, the Better
Business Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission,” Brubaker
recalled, “United Egg Producers agreed last fall to change the name
of its animal husbandry guidelines–along with the label that goes on
certified egg cartons–from “Animal-Care Certified” to “United Egg
Producers Certified.”
United Egg Producers was allowed six months to phase in the change.
Said Compassion Over Killing, “According to the FTC, by March 31,
2006, the ‘Animal Care Certified’ logo will be gone from grocery
store shelves.”
Compassion Over Killing challenged the logo in June 2003, pointing
out to the Better Business Bureau and the FTC that “under the ‘Animal
Care Certified’ guidelines, egg producers are permitted to
intensively confine hens in battery cages so small they can’t even
spread their wings, among other abuses.

“In 2003, and again upon appeal in 2004, the BBB deemed the
‘Animal Care Certified’ logo misleading,” a Compassion Over Killing
press release summarized, “because it implied a greater level of
humane care than is actually the case.”
Said Compassion Over Killing executive director Erica Meier,
“While the egg industry guidelines still permit routine cruelty, at
least the new logo will no longer convey a false message. The
industry’s next step should be to prohibit battery cages.”
About 95% to 98% of U.S. egg production comes from
battery-caged hens, but consumer demand for eggs from cage-free hens
is reportedly rising at 20% to 30% per year, despite often steep
differences in price. The difference in the Philadelphia area is up
to $2.00 per dozen, Brubaker found by surveying supermarkets.
The growing trend toward favoring cage-free egg production
gathered momentum in January 2006 when the University of Iowa
introduced eggs from cage-free farms at several campus eating
facilities, including the student union restaurant and two
Esbenshade Farms is not a member of United Egg Producers and
is not certified by the UEP, UEP senior vice president Gene Gregory
told Brubaker.

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