An animal charity is calling for the labelling law on processed foods to be amended, so consumers can make a “better informed choice” when buying products that contain eggs.
Four Paws wants the labelling on food products containing eggs, such as cakes and pasta, to specify which system the eggs were produced in – cage, free-range or barn.
A poll recently commissioned by the charity found that 82% of the British public would be in favour of extending labelling, so they could determine where the eggs came from.
Four Paws said this would also give consumers clarity on whether or not they could be buying products which contain eggs imported from EU member states which still have hens in illegal battery cages.
Spokeswoman Angelique Davies said: “Unfortunately, people may still be unwittingly consuming cage eggs in foods such as pasta, cakes and biscuits. It’s completely unacceptable that consumers are unable to make an informed choice.”
Adrian Sanders MP recently tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament, pushing for the labelling on shell eggs to be extended to all food products containing eggs. So far, 22 MPs have supported the motion.
Terry Jones, director of communications for the Food and Drink Federation, said national plans had already been put in place in non-compliant member states to ensure that only supplies of compliant egg and egg products were available to UK food manufacturers.
But he also recognised that there was an increasing demand for free-range eggs. “With a clear demand from some consumers for free-range eggs, some brand owners have taken the decision to only use free-range eggs in their products and these brands will clearly display this on pack, so consumers can make an informed choice.”
Products which only contain free-range eggs include Mr Kipling cakes, Fox’s biscuits and Hellmann’s mayonnaise.