Easter Eggs: Don’t Pay More for Fraudulent Labels
Mar 31, 2011 11:34AM
“Unlike beef, chicken and other dairy labels that must be approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, egg labels fall through the cracks,” reports Richard Wood, executive director of Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT). “This loophole enables egg producers to freely use any language they choose to describe their products, regardless of accuracy.” The resulting consumer confusion is producing healthy, possibly fraudulent, profits, via steep markups.
FACT recommends that people know the farmer that supplies their eggs and inquire about hen care. At the grocery, only trust the USDA Certified Organic seal or labels approved by the American Humane Association, Humane Farm Animal Care or Animal Welfare Institute. “Vegetarian fed,” “grass-fed or pastured” and “omega-3 enriched,” while positive, don’t guarantee the quality of animals’ living conditions. According to FACT, terms such as “free-range,” “cage-free” and “natural” may be loosely interpreted and offset by other inhumane practices, unless one knows the producer.