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Egg-industry reform

(article, Culinate staff)

Yes, it's true: the U.S. egg industry might actually be shaping up. In the wake of numerous contamination and animal-cruelty scandals, Tom Philpott reported earlier this month on Mother Jones, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the United Egg Producers (UEP) "have joined forces to push for federal legislation that would transform industrial egg production." 

You mean, more space for each bird? Environments that allow the birds to do natural things like perch and scratch? Crazy.

Philpott admits that a major food industry policing itself — and actually agitating for federal laws as part of the reform movement — is a shocker, and perhaps not to be trusted:

bq. Much needs to be done before you can be sure that the supermarket eggs you buy weren't squeezed out of routinely abused hens under filthy conditions. The legislation has to be sponsored and make it through the Byzantine pathways of Congress. And the UEP's commitment to the bill will have to be monitored closely. The group has a history of saying the right things publicly after a scandal but also defending the industry's ways behind the scenes. 

Time — and hopefully not too many more salmonella outbreaks — will tell.