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Consumers want battery hen eggs labelled

13 June 2006


Large consumer petition presented to Minister Consumers want battery hen eggs labelled

In one of the largest consumer petitions of recent times, over 50,000 New Zealanders have called for mandatory labelling of cartons of cruelly produced eggs. Mandatory labelling will help consumers identify eggs produced by battery hens. Today petition organisers will present the weighty pile of petitions to the Minister of Consumer Affairs and Green MP Sue Kedgley.

National animal advocacy organisation SAFE has called for eggs produced by caged hens to be labelled as ‘Eggs from Caged Hens’.

“Consumers are being confused, if not misled, about the origin of the eggs they purchase. Egg carton labels such as ‘Farm Fresh’, ‘Farmer Brown’ and Country Life’ are deliberately used by egg producers to confuse consumers opposed to battery hen cages”, says SAFE campaigns director Hans Kriek.

Overseas research shows three out of four consumers do not know how ‘Farm Fresh’ eggs are produced and that 30 per cent mistakenly believes battery eggs are free range. Europe and several Australian states have already introduced mandatory labelling of egg cartons.

“New Zealand egg producers remain defiant in their refusal to properly inform consumers. SAFE believes legislation is necessary to force producers to disclose production methods”, says Mr Kriek

SAFE supports Sue Kedgley’s Consumer Right to Know Bill which includes mandatory egg labelling. “This Bill is an important piece of legislation that SAFE urges all members of parliament to allow this Bill to go to the select committee”, says Mr Kriek.

The 51,438 signature petition will be presented to the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Judith Tizard and Ms Kedgley on the steps of Parliament today at 1.15 pm.

ENDS

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