Trump Administration Has Weakened Animal Welfare Standards for Organic Food

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Whether you hunt for them, paint them, or eat them, Easter is the holiday for eggs. And, this season, there’s less reason to celebrate our eggs because of recent changes allowed by the Trump Administration.

Watch Change Food founder Diane Hatz discuss this recent change and what you can do.

What has changed:

On Monday, March 19, the Trump Administration discarded a Department of Agriculture (USDA) rule passed during the Obama Administration that would have provided better animal welfare for organic meat and poultry.  For eggs, this means that chickens can still be confined in such small spaces that they cannot move around freely or spread their wings.

In the hands of a woman packing eggs in the supermarket

By overturning this rule, the USDA has struck a huge blow to animal welfare standards and to anyone who eats organic and thinks that they’re getting a better product than they are. Because of this rule change, certified organic eggs can still come from hens living in total confinement, which by USDA estimates is about half of organic eggs. Some of these egg-laying hens live with two other hens in one square foot with no access to fresh air and no room to turn around or spread their wings.

You cannot trust that USDA Certified Organic eggs (or meat for that matter) are raised any more humanely than conventional products. That’s not good for the animals or for us.

What you can do:

If possible, buy your eggs from a farmers’ market, and ask sellers about the chickens’ living conditions. Where these animals live is just as important as the quality of their feed.  

Most of us purchase our eggs from the supermarket, so make sure that those eggs stand up to scrutiny. You can see how egg producers stack up on the Organic Egg Scorecard developed by The Cornucopia Institute.

Eggs in a carton

Change Food® works toward a healthier food system for people, animals & the planet.  Learn more about Plant Eat Share – planting food in public spaces. For free.