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US consumers rejecting battery farm eggs

Industry fights back with law pushing

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robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
1 4 Mar 2018
https://theintercept.com/2018/03/02/consumers-are-revolting-against-animal-cruelty-so-the-poultry-industry-is-lobbying-for-laws-to-force-stores-to-sell-their-eggs/

As consumers have awoken to the barbaric conditions of the egg industry, they have begun to turn toward incrementally more humane alternatives, such as cage-free eggs, as well as truly humane options, such as eggs from pasture-raised hens at places like Vital Farms.

But in response, the powerful poultry industry — which long invoked principles of the “free market” to justify their torture-derived products being available to consumers — have now reversed course. With consumers choosing more humane egg products, lobbyists for the poultry industry are pushing laws that would force stores to carry their products even if doing so offends their moral sensibilities and ethical judgments.

In Iowa, the nation’s biggest egg-producing state, lawmakers, at the behest of the poultry lobby, are making their most brazen attempt yet to fight the tides of change: simply making it a legal requirement for grocery stores to carry inhumanely produced eggs. A new bill in the Iowa state legislature, overwhelmingly passed by the Iowa House of Representatives on Monday by a vote of 81-17, would force any Iowa grocery store that participates in the Women, Infants and Children federal food assistance program and sells what the bill refers to as “specialty eggs” to also stock “conventional eggs.” “Specialty eggs” are cage-free eggs, free-range eggs, or “enriched colony cage” eggs — eggs produced in larger cages with perches and other amenities in them. “Conventional eggs” are eggs from hens confined in battery cages.

The bill’s supporters frame the measure as a consumer choice issue, arguing that the most economically destitute Iowans deserve access to lower priced eggs. Animal welfare advocates view the motivation differently.

( About 96 percent of eggs sold in the United States come from hens who live in the so-called battery cages from the day they’re born until their egg-laying days end 18 to 24 months later.)
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