Monday, March 12, 2012

Plan hatched to crack row over egg labelling

The NSW state government has weighed into the debate on the inconsistent definition of free range eggs and has convened a meeting of egg producers tomorrow in an attempt to resolve the long-running dispute over how eggs should be labelled.

It comes as theAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission launched Federal Court action against a South Australian producer who was selling her eggs as free range, despite most of the eggs being laid by caged hens.

The Australian Egg Corporation, which represents most commercial egg producers, has angered free-range producers and animal welfare groups with its proposed standard to allow a free-range egg farm to run 20,000 chickens per hectare.

The present code, which is not legally enforceable, allows 1500 chickens per hectare.

A spokeswoman for the NSW Food Authority, which organised the meeting at the request of the Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, said it had concerns about "truth in labelling" and inconsistent terms.

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