Food Law News - UK - 2006

Defra News Release (489/06), 15 November 2006

EGGS - Defra investigates fraud in egg industry

[Note: Defra is the UK government Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. There home page is at:]

The Government has called on the egg industry and retailers to ensure that the eggs they are selling are correctly labelled.

The move follows investigations by Defra into alleged illegal practice in the egg industry involving the incorrect labelling of eggs, including the labelling of non-free range eggs as free range.

Although formal investigations are on-going and may lead to prosecutions, Defra decided, in the public interest, in meetings this week, to ask the egg industry and retailers to satisfy themselves immediately that such practice is no longer taking place and that all the produce on shop shelves is accurately labelled.

From inspections carried out by Defra, under the EC Egg Marketing Regulations, the Department had become concerned about possible illegal practice in the egg industry. In the course of investigations information has come to light confirming that eggs have been incorrectly labelled.

The investigation is targeted on the collection and supply of eggs; not the original production. Departmental ministers are being kept informed.

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