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Free-range eggs producer accused of deceiving US consumers

The deceptive packaging shows hens roaming open pastures and being cuddled by children. Nellie’s crams as many as 20,000 hens into crowded sheds, with just 1.2 sq ft of floor space each.

OLIVER MILMAN: ‘The producers of Nellie’s Free Range Eggs have been accused of deceiving US consumers about how well it treats its hens in a lawsuit lodged in New York City. The packaging of the eggs shows hens roaming open pastures and being cuddled by children. This is deceptive, the lawsuit claims, because Nellie’s crams as many as 20,000 hens into crowded sheds, with just 1.2 sq ft of floor space each.

The US district court complaint, by four individuals represented by the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), further alleges that Nellie’s provides little outdoor access for its hens and allows its suppliers to kill all male newborn chicks. Nellie’s New Hampshire-based parent company, Pete and Gerry’s Organics, has labeled the eggs, which cost up to $8 for a dozen, as “Certified humane”. The Boston Red Sox recently adopted the brand as the team’s “official egg”.

“Consumers pay a premium for eggs they believe come from laying hens subjected to humane treatment with labels such as ‘free-range’ and ‘cage-free’,” said Jeanne Christensen, partner at Peta’s law firm, Wigdor. “As the allegations show, consumers are buying eggs from an egg producer that subjects its laying hens to horrific conditions. This lawsuit is filed to hold Nellie’s accountable for its betrayal of both consumers and the hens that are suffering from unnecessary pain and distress”.’ SOURCE…

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