Lawsuit Against Wall-Mart Over Organic Eggs

Reuters writer Tom Polansek reported yesterday that, “Wal-Mart Stores Inc misled U.S. shoppers by selling organic eggs laid by hens raised in enclosed structures under package labels that said the birds had access to the outdoors, a federal lawsuit alleged on Monday.

The suit highlights uncertainty among consumers about production practices in the $500 million organic egg industry, farmers said, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) last month shelved plans to spell out for the first time what it means for birds to have access to the outdoors.

“Wal-Mart sells cartons of eggs to shoppers at a premium under its Organic Marketside brand with labels saying the eggs came from hens with ‘outdoor access,’ according to the lawsuit filed by a customer.”

Mr. Polansek indicated that, “Wal-Mart said it had not reviewed the allegations, but was taking them seriously.

“‘We hold our suppliers to high standards and are committed to providing our customers the quality products they expect,’ spokesman Randy Hargrove said.

“Representatives of Cal-Maine, which is the biggest U.S. egg producer and also named in the lawsuit, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.”

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