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Organic Consumers Assoc. Sues Happy Egg Co., Says ‘Pasture Raised’ Claims are False and Deceptive

Nonprofit alleges Happy Egg’s false claims deceive consumers, hurt competitors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Katherine Paul, Organic Consumers Association, (207) 653-3090, katherine@organicconsumers.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 30, 2020 – The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has sued Happy Egg Co. for false, deceptive and misleading advertising claims related to the use of the term “pasture raised.”

“Surveys confirm that animal welfare practices rank high on the list of consumer concerns,” said Ronnie Cummins, OCA’s co-founder and director. “By falsely claiming that the eggs it sells are ‘pasture raised,’ Happy Egg deceives consumers and diverts consumers’ spending dollars from competitors whose eggs come from farms that meet a true pasture-raised standard. Consumers who purchase Happy Eggs believing that they are supporting a certain animal-welfare standard are being cheated."

In a complaint filed on behalf of OCA by Richman Law Group in D.C. Superior Court under the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act, OCA alleges that Happy Egg falsely advertises and promotes its eggs as coming from hens “living on over 8 acres of pasture.” On cartons, Happy Egg labels its eggs “free range” but on the same label, the company also claims that the hens are “pasture raised.”

According to the American Humane Association, for eggs to be advertised as “pasture raised” the hens must have access to 2.5 acres per 1,000 hens in a rotation system, compared with “free range” hens which are given 0.5 acres per 1,000 hens. According to a blog post on Happy Egg’s old website, the company maintains 0.5 acres per 1,000 hens, fulfilling “free range” requirements and nothing more.

Happy Egg cartons also bear an implied scale of standards suggesting that its eggs are even better than “free range,” or meet some higher standard, because they are “Free-est of the Free Range.”

OCA is suing on behalf of itself and the general public, and seeks relief including an injunction to halt Happy Egg’s false marketing and sale of its products.

Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit grassroots organization advocating on behalf of millions of consumers for safe, healthful food and a clean environment. Visit: https://www.organicconsumers.org/

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