Yesterday, August 25, the Better Business Bureau officially referred the
"Animal Care Certified" egg labeling case to the Federal Trade Commission
for possible law enforcement action against the United Egg Producers.
This major victory is the culmination of more than a year's effort by the Washington, DC-based animal advocacy organization Compassion Over Killing to prohibit the egg industry from misleading consumers about its routine animal abuse.
For a campaign timeline, visit:
The Des Moines Register's printed a story in today's paper, and a national
AP story has already been picked up by about 40 media outlets. Visit
http://tinyurl.com/5855y to see where the AP story is running.
Des Moines Register: "Bureau: Egg labels are deceiving"
The Associated Press: "Investigation Into Egg Labeling Sought" (article
August 25, 2004
Investigation Into Egg Labeling Sought
By PATRICK CONDON, Associated Press Writer
DES MOINES, Iowa — The Better Business Bureau is asking federal regulators
to investigate the egg industry over a labeling campaign the organization
contends misleads consumers into thinking hens are treated humanely.
The bureau said Wednesday that it has asked the Federal Trade Commission to
probe United Egg Producers, the industry's largest trade group, over its
"Animal Care Certified" logo.
The logo adorns cartons containing eggs from hens that are confined in tiny
cages, have their beaks clipped and are forcibly starved, the bureau said in
"It conveyed the message to consumers that the eggs ... were produced by
hens raised under caring and humane conditions when that was not the case,"
the statement said.
Mitch Head, spokesman for Atlanta-based United Egg Producers, said the group
will defend its logo. He said the Animal Care Certified standards do
guarantee better conditions for chickens than in the past -- a fact that
even opponents have acknowledged.
The issue arose after a complaint from Compassion Over Killing, an animal
Bureau officials said referring such complaints to federal regulators is a
David Mallen, assistant director of legal affairs for the bureau's National
Advertising Division, said labeling any kind of product as "certified" is a
powerful message and one that consumers need to be able to rely on.
While the bureau can reach only voluntary agreements with companies, the FTC
can order the industry to stop using the certified logo.
Head said egg producers improved conditions voluntarily and are now being
"If this is what happens to those who try to do the right thing, what
impetus is it for the rest of animal agriculture to come forward and develop
their own standards, if all they're going to do is get shot at by animal
activists?" Head said.
On the Net: United Egg Producers: http://www.unitedegg.org/
Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Division:
Federal Trade Commission: http://www.ftc.gov/
Compassion Over Killing: http://www.cok.net/
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.|
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150