The ACCC's decision to reject the Australian Egg Corporation's proposal to register a misleading standard that defines free range production as covering up to 20,000 hens per hectare will be welcomed by the millions of Australians keen to choose genuinely free range eggs, says Australian Greens spokesperson for animal welfare Senator Lee Rhiannon.
Read the Australian Greens submission to the ACCC.
"In Australia locating a genuine free range egg on the supermarket shelf is harder than finding hen's teeth", Senator Rhiannon said.
"This welcome development from the ACCC will help ensure people seeking out free range products are not misled when they reach for a carton of eggs.
"Community expectations that factory farmed animals will be treated in a humane way continues to grow in Australia. The ACCC has recognised this and protected consumers from a sham standard.
"Free range eggs are big business. They are the fastest growing part of the egg industry and in fact are the only segment to grow in sales since 2010, by a substantial 24 per cent.
"The Australian Egg Corporation, which represents large industrial egg producers, made a cynical attempt to abuse customers' trust by deceiving consumers into purchasing eggs they mistakenly believed were free range.
"What Australia lacks is a national Australian Standard or consistent legislated definition of what is a 'free range' egg.
"This means the 'free range' labeled eggs consumers see in the shops can come from chooks living in quite varied conditions.
"I commend initiatives taken at a State level like NSW Greens MP John Kaye's truth in eggs labelling legislation and Tasmanian Greens Leader Nick McKim's win in banning battery hens," Senator Rhiannon said.