No More Organic Eggs?

Organic eggs on a commercial scale could be impossible under new FDA rules.

| September 9, 2013

  • Photo by The Cornucopia Institute

A major 2010 salmonella outbreak in eggs, centered on “factory farms” in Iowa, shone a spotlight on industrial-scale egg houses confining tens of thousands of hens, each, in filthy and dangerous conditions.  This past July, the FDA issued a Draft Guidance for the prevention of salmonella enteritidis in shell eggs for egg producers providing outdoor access to their flock.

Despite scientific evidence tying higher rates of pathogenic contamination to older, massive factory farms with caged production/forced molting (banned in organics and now out of favor in conventional agriculture), the FDA is zeroing in on flocks with outdoor access (certified organic).

The new guidance will make it difficult, expensive and perhaps even impossible to have medium-sized flocks of birds outside. This could spell the end, on a commercial scale, of truly organic eggs where hens are outdoors exhibiting their native behavior, as required by USDA’s organic regulations.

There is a critical need for the good food community to come together right now.  Please sign and mail back Cornucopia’s proxy-letter  (today!) on egg safety and other food safety issues (the proxy letter also addresses the threat posed by the FDA’s proposed food safety rule for diverse produce farmers).

The FDA’s new food safety rules have the real potential to force some of the safest local and organic farms out of business!

The FDA, in its draft guidance on eggs, appears to have colluded with a willing USDA to determine that an enclosed tiny porch, attached to the poultry house and permitting only a minute portion of the flock to access at any one time, constitutes acceptable outdoor access. The FDA must delete the “Indoor Area with Porch” as one of the four housing styles acceptable for organic production and make their guidance for outdoor pasture area “chicken and farmer friendly.”

9/16/2013 2:03:03 AM

In every business that the government regulates its goal is to get small business out of business there doing it with food producers, farms,trucking any business that they can they want only a few big company's/ and its our congress the make a law that might even have merit then its given to the regulators and they make the rules and after there thousands of pages of gov speak regs they do not even have to show congress they just march ahead and the regs may not even have a resemblance to what the law was for the bureaucrats job is to expand and keep the bureaucracy going an only big company s can afford to comply or fight and now even the company's are selling our biggest bread company is Mexican and the biggest pork co. will be china owned

Kevin Haendiges
9/15/2013 12:18:19 PM

If you want organic eggs there's nothing preventing you from having chickens of your own aside, perhaps, for zoning laws. Even those in "no livestock zones" could access organic eggs from smaller producers, or country dwelling friends or relatives.



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