The Humane Society of the United States has filed complaints with the FDA and FTA over Costco’s egg supplier Hillandale Nearby Eggs. The complaints call for asking the feds to investigate potential “violations of federal false advertising and health and safety laws.”
The complaints allege that Hillandale farms “deceived consumers concerned about animal welfare and that the filthy and unsanitary conditions at Hillandale present serious food safety concerns.” An undercover investigation found that hens were locked in cages so tightly they couldn’t spread their wings. Live birds were forced to be in the same cages as dead birds, and fly infestations were common throughout the facility.
The depiction of the farm on Hillandale’s Nearby Eggs cartons show hens roaming in a pasture. The video shows birds with their legs stuck in the wire cage, with piles of broken,rotting, fly-covered eggs on the facility’s floors. Each hen is given less space than an iPad. Costco made the decision eight years ago to eliminate cages from its egg supply.
Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation at HSUS said in a statement, “it’s unconscionable to mislead Costco consumers with false depictions of how those eggs were produced. The horrific conditions documented at this egg facility warrant federal investigation to ensure consumer safety.”
HSUS vice president of farm animal protection said in a statement, “we’re disappointed that Costco still allows its egg suppliers to keep birds in filthy, cramped cages for their whole lives. Nearly a decades passed since Costco indicated it wanted to end such abuse in its supply chain, and these birds continue languishing, every minute of every day, in conditions so filthy it would make most people’s stomachs churn.”
In 2010, Hillandale’s operations were linked to the largest egg recall in history. One hundred million eggs were recalled.