Iowa legislators are using their time to work on a bill that would require grocery stores to “sell conventional eggs” versus only those that come from chickens that are cage free, free range or raised using organic methods. This is embarrassing and problematic for a few reasons:
1. Currently, the majority of the eggs being sold in Iowa are already conventional eggs; from chickens raised in cages or confinements.
2. Chickens raised in confinements or cages are given lots of antibiotics to stay healthy and this can result in hens that lay contaminated eggs. In 2010, there was a huge recall of eggs that sickened those who ate them because they were diseased with a bacteria; these eggs came from suppliers here in Iowa - not the little farmer, but industrial agriculture.
3. Legislators were elected to serve us, not industrial agriculture. The rationale that is being pushed “to ensure consumer choice” is ridiculous because stores will always carry whatever products their customers want. No one has to legislate stores to sell milk or cheese.
Here is a simple solution. Legislators, get out of the egg selling business, do your job, and represent the interests of the people you serve.
Carol Patnode, Mason City