More Than A Few Bad Eggs: Industrial Farms Exploiting ‘Organic’ Label for Profit

Thanks to industrial food producers who are “gaming the system,” eggs labeled as “organic” may not be very different from the factory-farmed versions consumers are trying to avoid, warns a new report from the non-profit Cornucopia Institute.

Indeed, for some large-scale producers, the label “appears to be nothing more than a profitable marketing term to apply to the agro-industrial production model, simply substituting organic feed for conventional and eliminating prohibited synthetic inputs, such as pesticides and antibiotics,” according to the report, entitledScrambled Eggs: Separating Factory Farm Egg Production from Authentic Organic Agriculture(pdf).

Released Tuesday alongside anĀ organic egg scorecard, Cornucopia’s analysis reveals that some emerging brands advertise their eggs as “pastured” although their birds are housed in fixed buildings, while other factory farm operators “literally raise millions of birds (both conventional and organic) with as many as 150,000-200,000 ‘organic’ hens in single buildings.”

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