Officially, Big Food is not worried about the small number of “fringe” food activists who object to cruel, unhealthful and environmentally destructive products. But unofficially, it is a different story. American Egg Board CEO Joanne Ivy stepped down in apparent disgrace this fall when a 2013 email she wrote to a consultant saying the board was accepting “your offer to make that phone call to keep Just Mayo off Whole Foods shelves,” was revealed. Just Mayo is an egg-free and vegan product from San Francisco start-up Hampton Creek. Whole Foods still sells it.
Why is Ivy’s attempt to quash competition reason to step down? As a USDA commodity “checkoff” program, the egg board is a quasi-government agency not supposed to be playing dirty retail tricks.