Target: Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Goal: Ensure egg labels accurately reflect the often cruel conditions under which hens are raised.
The Food and Drug Administration’s familiar labels for eggs, such as “organic” and “free-range,” often do not reflect the horrific conditions under which egg-laying hens are raised. Despite these labels, egg production is in fact largely unregulated by the federal government. Consumers are led to believe that they are buying eggs produced under humane conditions, when in reality the hens that produce them frequently have been cruelly abused.
The primary federal law for the welfare of farm animals specifically states that poultry are not covered by its protections. As a result, egg producers are essentially left to treat their hens however they wish, leading to cramped, filthy living conditions, as well as practices such as beak-cutting and forced molting, wherein hens are starved for up to two weeks until they lose their feathers. This inhumane practice leads to slight increases in egg quality and production.
The FDA’s current labeling systems do not reflect the cruel conditions the commercial egg industry forces on its hens. For example, egg producers are allowed to perform both beak-cutting and forced molting on certified “free-range” hens. Additionally, there is no required amount of time for these “free-range” hens to roam free outside of their cages.
By signing this petition, you will help pressure the FDA to modify existing labels and create new ones that more accurately reflect how egg-laying hens are treated. This will expose those companies that abuse their hens, thereby allowing consumers to make informed decisions about which egg producers they support.
Dear Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Dr. Margaret Hamburg,
The Food and Drug Administration’s current system for labeling eggs purchased by consumers does not accurately reflect the sometimes horrific conditions under which egg-laying hens are raised. Labels such as “free-range” that imply humane treatment of hens do not make it clear to consumers that cruel practices such as beak-cutting and starvation are performed on these animals. Consumers should be provided with this information so that they can make informed decisions about which commercial egg producers they support.
I urge that you modify current labeling standards as well as create new labels that more accurately reflect the conditions under which egg-producing hens are raised. The FDA has a responsibility to provide consumers with accurate information regarding the food products they purchase. As such, the labels of your administration should represent to consumers precisely the sort of conditions they are supporting when they purchase eggs from a particular company.
[Your Name Here]
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