The results from a six-year research study conducted by The Cornucopia Institute, a non-profit watchdog group that focuses on farm policy research, have revealed that many facilities currently producing eggs with “organic” labels are doing so on an industrial scale, seemingly misrepresenting the “organic” production method to consumers while mirroring conventional-style practices.
The study profiles management practices employed by organic egg producers that are deemed “exemplary” by the Institute, while also spotlighting several cases of abuse, inhumane animal treatment, and other examples of misrepresentation surrounding the facilities and practices consumers associate with the term “organic.”
The report is accompanied by an online scorecard that rates various organic egg brands on their production methods in accordance with both federal organic standards and consumer expectations.
Cornucopia has also accused the USDA’s National Organic Program of gross malfeasance in neglecting to protect consumers from fraud and ethical farmers from unfair competition, as Congress charged the agency to do.
“For this report, we have visited or surveilled, via aerial photography/satellite imagery, a large percentage of certified egg production in the United States, and surveyed all name-brand and private-label industry marketers,” said Mark A. Kastel, The Cornucopia Institute’s codirector and senior farm policy analyst. “It’s obvious that a high percentage of the organic eggs on the market are illegal and should, at best, be labeled ‘produced with organic feed,’ rather than bearing the USDA-certified organic logo,” Kastel stated.
The full report can be viewed here.