Eggs falsely labelled free range
In the UK, it has been alleged that each year up to 30
million battery-farmed eggs are sold at premium prices as free-range
British consumers buy an estimated nine billion eggs per year, around a
third of which are free-range. The alleged labelling fraud reportedly involves
an estimated one percent of the free-range sector, which would equate to 30
million eggs a year.
A DEFRA spokesman said: "What we have uncovered at the moment is that some
eggs which are labelled free-range are not. We thought the public should be made
â€œAlthough formal investigations are ongoing and may lead to prosecutions,
DEFRA decided, in the public interest, to ask the industry and retailers to
satisfy themselves immediately that such practice is no longer taking place."
The labelling issue is further complicated by the lack of clear guidelines
that define precisely what free range is, a matter set to be addressed by the Government Egg Marketing Inspectorate
A spokesperson from the British Egg Information Service
said: "We are keen to help
DEFRA and ensure that action is taken if there are any irregularities. If anyone
has infringed regulations we would support the prosecution of them."
advised the public to choose organic produce if they wanted to
avoid the issue. A spokesman said: "If this is true then it really would be a
case of ripping off consumers.
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