In response to the proposed USDA animal welfare rules that would permit up to two million “organic” chickens to be confined on giant concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), the Cornucopia Institute, a food-industry watchdog, has relaunched its Scrambled Eggs report and organic egg brand scorecard.
Their analysis finds that the options presented in the USDA’s draft rule would confine birds to as little as one square foot indoors and only require farms to provide two square feet of outdoor space, half of which could be covered with concrete.
“At best, the USDA proposal delays enforcement for five to seven years allowing a continued factory farm confinement production,” states Mark Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst for The Cornucopia Institute.
The report profiles exemplary management practices employed by many family-scale organic farmers engaged in egg production, while spotlighting abuses at so-called “factory farms,” some of which confine hundreds of thousands of chickens in industrial buildings and then market these eggs to consumers as “organic.”
“Free range is to chickens what free healthcare is to Americans.” -Tom O’bedlam