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Gov. Schwarzenegger signs bill to require out-of-state egg producers to comply with Proposition 2 space requirements for egg-laying hens

Chickens

Beginning in 2015, all whole eggs sold in the state of California -- even those shipped in from other states -- must come from chickens that are housed in a way that complies with the requirements set out in Proposition 2, the farm-animal welfare bill approved by California voters in 2008.

On Tuesday, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill mandating that all whole eggs intended for human consumption in the state be produced by chickens that are able to fully extend their limbs, stand up, lie down and spread their wings without touching the side of their enclosure or other birds.

"In other words: California will become a cage-free state," Humane Society of the United States president and CEO Wayne Pacelle, whose group heavily supported the move, wrote on his blog.

The bill, A.B. 1437, was authored by Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael); it received the support of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Sierra Club California and the Center for Food Safety, among other groups, in addition to the Humane Society.

On its way through the state legislature, A.B. 1437 sparked a flap from the Assn. of California Egg Farmers, which said at one point that it would oppose its passage unless it was modified to spell out exactly how much space was required by Proposition 2.

The Humane Society scoffed at the Assn. of California Egg Farmers' complaint, and Pacelle referred to the group's objections as "double-talk" in a post on his blog. Pacelle was exuberant after A.B. 1437's passage, writing that "it would be hard to overestimate the potential of this bill to change the way laying hens are treated throughout the United States."

The Humane Society and other supporters argued that the bill not only promoted the humane treatment of egg-laying hens, but also had major implications for food safety. "It will also level the playing field for California egg producers, who are making significant investments to comply with Proposition 2, by holding out-of-state producers to the same high standards," Huffman said in a statement.

RELATED FARM ANIMAL NEWS:
Owner of Ohio dairy farm at center of animal-cruelty investigation won't face charges
Egg-farm video is latest salvo in Humane Society's campaign (April 2010 story by P.J. Huffstutter)

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Egg-laying chickens at a farm in Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

 
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Great now we have to drive out of state to get safe eggs. What is this governor thinking of or in fact the whole state is not thinking they are falling for the lies of the radical animal rights groups such as HSUS and PeTA. Folks its time to tell these people who lie to you with your own money collected from people who thought it was going to care for homeless animal to take a hike. Wayne Pacelle is behind this animal rights movement to end your use of eggs, milk, and meat. Free range eggs are contaminated with carcinogenics and diseases.

Free range eggs contain a little something extra: pollutants
June 16, 2010 | 1:16 pm
Here’s some disconcerting news for health-conscious eaters who favor eggs from free-range hens: A Taiwanese study found that the eggs contain much higher levels of industrial pollutants than eggs laid by caged hens.

The researchers focused on two types of pollutants, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (known collectively as PCCD/Fs), which are released into the environment by municipal waste incinerators, factories and other industrial sources. A report from the International Program on Chemical Safety says the chemicals have caused cancer, liver damage, problems with the skin and nervous system, reproductive problems and other undesirable effects in animals.

The researchers collected 60 free range eggs from farms in southern Taiwan and compared them with 120 eggs from caged hens that were purchased throughout the country. Then they measured the levels of 17 kinds of PCCD/Fs.

For the free range eggs, the levels ranged from 6.18 to 41.3 picograms per gram of lipid, with an average value of 17.5 pg/g. Levels for the caged eggs ranged from 2.85 to 19.8 pg/g, with an average value of 7.65.

The researchers also calculated the toxic equivalency quotient (TEQ) for both kinds of eggs using a system endorsed by the World Health Organization. The levels for the free range eggs were 5.7 times higher than the levels for the caged eggs.

In addition, 17% of the free range eggs had levels that European regulators have deemed unsafe for consumption. All of the caged eggs were easily in the safe zone, the researchers found. The results were published in the latest edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

The researchers believe the free range eggs have more contaminants because they are found in the environments where free range hens roam. Studies have found the chemicals in “feedstuffs, soil, plants, worms and insects,” they wrote. Their own measurements of dirt from free range farms persuaded them that soil contamination is at least partly to blame.

The problem probably isn’t limited to Taiwan. Scientists have also found the same trend in the European Union, and one study found that about 10% of free range eggs exceeded the safety limit set by regulators there.

“The issue of contamination in free range eggs could be a global issue, and more research should be done to identify the factors from the external environment that influence and modify the PCDD/F levels in eggs from free range hens,” the authors wrote.

In case you were wondering, their research was not sponsored by the commercial egg-laying industry. The scientists had grants from the National Science Council of Taiwan and the Taiwanese Ministry of Education.

— Karen Kaplan

Its not like California has other things to worry about... Illegals, Gays, and something called a Budget.

Isn't applying Proposition 2 to out of state companies unconstitutional since only the federal government can regulate interstate commerce?


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