News update:May 12, 2010

US Council officially opposes cage eggs

The Takoma Park City Council has unanimously passed a resolution opposing the use of cage eggs and urging consumers not to buy them.

Takoma Park is the first city in the US to take an official position against housing layers in battery cages.

Council member Bruce Williams said the resolution does not amount to a ban on the sale of eggs from cage hens, as city officials are not empowered to take such a broad action.

"What we did was basically, as a public education effort, say to people that they should know that this is going on," said Williams, who sponsored the measure. "It's saying, 'We encourage you to only buy eggs that are not produced by battery-caged chickens.' "

A spokesman for United Egg Producers, an industry lobbying group, said it supports consumer choice in buying eggs.

"It's rather interesting that they would encourage retail stores to carry eggs that cost anywhere from two to three times more than regular eggs," said Gene Gregory, senior vice president for United Egg Producers.

"We believe in consumer choice and we believe consumers should have the right to purchase what they want and not be legislated or mandated or encouraged by city council or anyone else to pay more for eggs."

Williams investigated the issue after several of his constituents brought it to his attention. “They were hoping that the council could do something that would be supportive," he said.

One of those residents was Paul Shapiro, director of the factory-farming campaign at the Humane Society of the United States.

For related articles:
US council member wants cage eggs labelled

American movement against cages grows stronger

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