It was not just Clinton and Trump ruling the November 8th vote, at least not in the US state of Massachusetts. Voters there also had the possibility to make a choice on a ballot initiative. Question 3 on the ballot will increase their food bill by $45 per person per year without the benefits hoped for. This question is all about cage or cage free egg production.
The National Association of Egg Farmers sought media coverage in 35 daily newspapers to show the facts about today’s modern cage layers and that support for the initiative is a step backwards in egg production.
While cage-free egg farming is claimed by many as the future, the facts show it is a reversion to the past. This is the law of unintended consequences where voters are encouraged to “feel” with the wording of the ballot initiative instead of examining the facts.
More than 5 decades ago, egg farming transitioned to cages to improve the lives of the chickens (reduced mortality by half), the quality of the eggs (by removing the likelihood of the eggs coming in contact with manure) and the working conditions of the farmer (less dust from the chickens scratching in the shavings). Even the most recent investigation into the best production systems as investigated by scientists in the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply dispute conclusions made in the ballot. McDonald’s was one of a list of contributors to this investigation. Those scientists reported to McDonald’s and others that cage-free systems lead to more deaths among chickens due to their establishing a pecking order.
Penn State researchers recently published the results of a 6-month study testing 6,000 eggs and concluded backyard flocks or cage-free were more likely to be contaminated with Salmonella. Farmers today know how to produce a safe and wholesome egg while caring for their chickens. Those food companies will also learn that cage-free is not the consumers’ choice. Check out the stores selling both and find which ones the consumers are buying. In the future, egg production will revert back to keeping chickens in cages once food companies learn the lessons farmers learned 5 decades ago.