Author Topic: Free-for-all labelling hides ethical eating trends. Labor MP comment  (Read 831 times)

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Free-for-all labelling hides ethical eating trends. Labor MP comment
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 12:03:50 PM »
Free-for-all labelling hides ethical eating trends

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IF you have made a decision to eat more ethically then food labels should be your best friend.
But what exactly do labels like "free range", "barn-laid", "organic", or "caged" mean?  And which labels mean improved animal welfare standards?

In WA, consumers have no way of knowing the answers to these questions.

Making the decision to eat more ‘ethically’ is becoming increasingly popular with consumers.  

In Australia the sale of free range eggs has nearly doubled from around 15 per cent to 28 per cent in just a couple of years.  

The good news about this trend is that as more consumers demand ethical food, the range of products will increase and costs will come down.  
The bad news, however, is that the claims made by too many producers about their products simply can’t be believed.

For example, the Australia Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals - Domestic Poultry stipulates ‘free range’ as a maximum stocking rate of 1500 birds per hectare.

Yet in 2010 the Australian Egg Corporation Limited’s managing director revealed that some producers claiming to be free range had stocking rates of between 50,000 and 60,000 birds per hectare. The AECL is now consulting with its members to bring in a rate of 20,000 chickens per hectare - a staggering 18,500 more chickens per hectare than stipulated by the Australian Code.

More encouraging for those of us supporting the humane treatment of animals and wanting ‘truth in labelling’ was last month’s federal court decision to fine chicken meat company La Ionica $100,000 for ‘engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct’ for using the term ‘free range’.

Importantly, the case against La Ionica was made possible only because they are based in Queensland where the Bligh Government has formally adopted the Australian Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals - Domestic Poultry.

It is time the Barnett Government afforded WA consumers the same respect of making informed choices by adopting the Australian Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals - Domestic Poultry.

Consumers don’t deserve to be kept in the dark - and chickens don’t deserve to endure lives of cruelty.

* Lisa Baker is the WA Parliament Member for Maylands
 

http://www.perthnow.com.au/free-for-all-labelling-hides-ethical-eating-trend/story-fn8ou527-1226273138651
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 12:08:49 PM by WA Export News »