Wegmans Cruelty: An Unofficial Blog

This is an unofficial blog and informational archive related to the WEGMANSCRUELTY film and resulting campaign.

Please see that page for more information.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

WEGMANS REMOVES CONTROVERSIAL LOGO FROM EGG CARTONS

Animal Care Certified” Seal Officially Discarded After FTC Ruling

Rochester, NY (February 10, 2006) – Last month Wegmans Food Marketsofficially removed the controversial “Animal Care Certified” logo from itsWegmans-brand egg cartons. The move came less than four months after the Federal Trade Commission ruled that the logo can not be used on egg cartons after March 31 of this year. The ruling came after the Better Business Bureau (BBB) had twice deemed the logo “misleading” to consumers.

A new logo, claiming Wegmans Egg Farm is part of the New York State Egg Quality Assurance Program (NYSEQAP), now appears on Wegmans-brand eggcartons. However, according to a state official with NYSEQAP, the program has no standards for animal welfare. Under this labeling program the 750,000 hens at Wegmans Egg Farm will continue to be subjected to inhumane conditions.

The "Animal Care Certified" logo first came under scrutiny in June 2003,when Washington, DC-based Compassion Over Killing filed petitions with theBetter Business Bureau and the FTC, as well as other federal agencies, asserting that the logo is misleading. Under the "Animal Care Certified"guidelines, egg producers are permitted to intensively confine hens in "battery cages" so small they cannot even spread their wings, among other abuses.

In 2003, and again upon appeal in 2004, the BBB deemed the "Animal Care Certified" logo “misleading” because it implied a greater level of humane care than is actually the case. Despite these rulings and the BBB's subsequent referral of the matter to FTC for potential legal actionagainst the United Egg Producers (UEP), which ran the logo program, the logo continued to appear on cartons across the country—and consumers continued to be deceived.

As part of a 2004 investigation at Wegmans Egg Farm in Wolcott, NY Compassionate Consumers found widespread evidence of egregious cruelty to animals. The group’s investigators found hens covered with feces and open sores, birds forced to sleep atop decomposed corpses, beak mutilations,and hens drowning in liquid manure.

Compassionate Consumers is asking that Wegmans Egg Farm cease the use of cruel battery cages and go cage-free. In September 2005 the University of Rochester decided to stop the use of eggs from caged hens in foods prepared on campus. Danny Wegman, CEO of Wegmans Food Markets, is a SeniorTrustee at UR.

In 2005 alone some of Wegmans' largest competitors stopped selling battery cage eggs. Two of the nation's three largest organic food markets, Whole Foods and Wild Oats decided to go entirely cage-free. And in November, organic food chain Trader Joe's agreed to make its own brand of eggs cage-free.

Compassionate Consumers is a Rochester-based organization dedicated to providing the public with information about the treatment of animals onfarms and at slaughter.

For more information visit: www.WegmansCruelty.com

Contact:Ryan Merkley, 585-410-0773, ryan@compassionateconsumers.org

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