The chicken may have crossed the road (but did it leave the barn?)
The Nationals Senator for New South Wales John Williams says he is confused as ever as to what constitutes free range eggs following questioning of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) at Senate estimates.
Senator Williams said the further the questioning continued the more confused some Senators became.
The ACCC has launched prosecution action against free range egg producers who it believes are misleading the public, but the ACCC itself has said there is no need for a free range egg standard and it should be common sense.
Senator Williams recently addressed the Australian Egg Industry Conference in Adelaide, and last night warned the Chairman of the ACCC Rod Sims he was “spooking” egg producers and there was no confidence to invest in the industry.
“I asked Mr. Sims whether my own four hens that have shelter but are also free to roam 100 square metres are free-range.
He described free range as “birds that should be able to leave the barn and on most days most of them would be outside for some period of time”
Pressed again as to whether my situation was free-range, Mr. Sims would not give a definitive answer.
I can understand why free range egg producers are scratching their heads wondering whether they are unknowingly breaking a law that doesn’t exist!
To end this confusion the Federal and State governments along with the egg industry must work together to draw up clear and unambiguous laws so that producers can get on with their lives and not continually be looking over their shoulder”, Senator Williams said.