Deceptive egg labelling increasing

09-03-2007 | | |

As more consumers worldwide are willing to pay more for cage-free eggs, there are ever increasing incidents of mislabelling.

The free-range egg market in Israel is growing as well, with consumers willing to pay double for eggs laid by hens raised in humane conditions. Seven million eggs are marketed as “free-range” every year – 0.4% of all eggs sold, but the definition of free range eggs is not determined by law or official regulation. Marketers have an economic incentive to sell regular eggs as free-range, because they are free from price regulation, and can be sold at a far higher price.
Legitimate free-range egg producers are beginning to complain, to the Agriculture Ministry, which has thus far not intervened. A ministry spokesman responded that the ministry is responsible only for the public health aspect in supervision of eggs, and pointed to the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry. A spokesman at the Ministry of Industry and Trade immediately pointed back to the Agriculture Ministry.
The only organization that conducts inspections, Hai-Meshek, is not officially recognized by government authorities, and conducts only voluntary checks.
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