Here’s an excerpt from Globe and Mail food reporter Jessica Leeder’s take on “Massive egg recall opens window on inhumane farming”:
“If anyone stands to benefit from the most sweeping egg recall in America’s history, it is the chickens.
Animal-welfare advocates waging an ongoing war to free caged birds have seized on the U.S. recall of half a billion eggs over fears of salmonella contamination as evidence that common industrial egg-producing systems are not only inhumane, they pose a real threat to food safety.
“Confining birds to cages means increased salmonella infection in the birds, their eggs and the consumers of caged eggs,” the Humane Society of the United States wrote in a letter to egg farmers in Iowa, where the recalled eggs were produced. Their allegation comes as rights advocates appear to be gaining ground on factory farmers in the United States.
Earlier this month they successfully pressured egg farmers in Ohio, the second largest egg-producing state, to agree to a ban on the construction of new egg farms that pack birds into cages. Concessions based on welfare concerns have also been brokered with producers in Michigan and California, which will ban small chicken cages in 2015 as well as the sale of cage-produced eggs from out of state.
Canadian egg producers have smaller production systems than their U.S. counterparts and say they have thus far not been affected by the activists’ south-of-the-border success.
Still, it is unclear whether employing the food-safety argument will increase the lobby’s momentum….”