WITH DR. SIMON SHANE
The voters in California have spoken.
The question now is whether the
result was an isolated West Coast
anomaly or whether this represents a national trend against
confined housing of
poultry and other livestock.
If the first assumption is accepted the
limited; but on the
other hand, a major
restructuring of egg
Simon Shane production will be
required with profound results for both
producers and consumers.
This is no time for recriminations or assigning blame for “who lost California.”
Opponents of intensive animal production
will be back like Freddy Kruger, emboldened by their success in the Golden State.
We should realistically evaluate the
campaign and modify the approach to opposing ballot initiatives calling for a de
facto ban on cages.
We should recognize that the strategy
based on “food safety and import substitution from Mexico” was invalid and unrealistic from the outset. Both arguments were
unconvincing, unsupportable and were
It is suggested that future campaigns,
which are inevitable, should be structured
on two clear principles. The first is that
housing systems complying with science-based United Egg Producer Standards for
cage housing of hens are humane. The
second is that the cage-ban initiatives are
an attempt by a minority of zealots to deprive all consumers of their opportunity to
choose eggs produced by alternative housing, irrespective of the cost implications.
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