Eggs on a conveyor belt © Tim ScrivenerLibrary image © Tim Scrivener

Leading US egg supplier National Pasteurized Eggs has been reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for allegedly carrying out false animal welfare advertising.

The company, which sells eggs in grocery stores across the USA under the Davidson’s brand, has been criticised by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

The animal welfare organisation has called upon the FTC to investigate whether National Pasteurized Eggs is misrepresenting the way its eggs are produced.

Davidson’s cartons prominently depict lush open pastures, a red barn and free-roaming hens, even though many of the eggs in the cartons come from caged hens, according to the HSUS.

See also: BBC Countryfile’s caged hen debate sparks farmer anger

HSUS also claims that the company misleads consumers by saying its process “eliminates the risk of salmonella” from eggs.

‘Wrong’

Josh Balk, HSUS director of farm animal protection, said consumers were concerned about the treatment of farm animals and to take advantage of the false imagery was wrong.

“Egg companies are realising that consumers are outraged about the treatment that hens undergo in cages, and while many are shifting away from that practice altogether, some are still trying to deceive the public as to where those eggs are actually coming from – and that’s certainly the case with this company,” he added.

The Illinois-based company, which according to the Chicago Tribune was also facing a worker strike this week over pay and working conditions, is in the process of being bought by St Louis-based Post Holdings.

National Pasteurized Eggs was asked to comment but had not yet issued any statement at the time of publication.