Misunderstanding over what HFAC “Certified Humane” means

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2008:
WASHINGTON D.C.–A mix-up by Eggology liquid egg white
company founder Brad Halpern and publicist Amy Dunn about the
relationship between the Humane Farm Animal Care “Certified Humane”
program and the Humane Society of the U.S. led to late-summer
headaches for both HFAC and HSUS, after the web site
www.HumaneMyth.org alleged that HSUS had endorsed Eggology despite
opposing debeaking hens, which HFAC allows.
The HumaneMyth web site was launched in June 2008 by Tribe of
Heart sanctuary founders and video producers James LaVeck and Jenny
Stein in response to “An idea propagated by the animal-using industry
and some animal protection organizations that it is possible to use
and kill animals in a manner that can be fairly described as
respectful or compassionate or humane.”

A series of July and August 2008 postings extensively quoted
the first press release that Halpern and Dunn issued on March 31,
2008, after Eggology won HFAC certification. Two of the first three
lines of the first release, corrected later the same day,
erroneously described “Certified Humane” as an HSUS program.
The release went on to strongly endorse Proposition Two, the
anti-battery caging ballot initiative that qualified for the November
2008 California ballot with HSUS support. At the time the release
was issued, the petitioning procedure to place the initiative on the
ballot had just begun.
HSUS is among the major HFAC funders, but altogether 27
national and regional humane organizations formally support HFAC in
various ways. Most–including HSUS–stipulate that the HFAC
standards are an attempt to improve the conditions for farm animals
here and now, not the ideal to which they aspire.
“To be clear, HSUS never endorsed Eggology or any other egg
company,” wrote HSUS factory farming campaign director Paul Shapiro
to LaVeck on August 2, 2008. “By no means am I asking that you stop
criticizing HSUS. I’m only asking that you limit the criticism to
things we actually do.”
HumaneMyth responded that Dunn had repeatedly reissued the
original erroneous claim of an HSUS endorsement, claimed that the
“content of the original” press release “including the mention of the
HSUS endorsement” remained on the Eggology web site as of August 2,
2008, and continued to argue that the incident involved “conflicts
of interest.”
ANIMAL PEOPLE found mention of the purported HSUS endorsement
on the Eggology web site only in the context of a correction.

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