U.S. Consumer Egg Prices Could Rise by 25 Percent if Animal Rights Activists Get Their Way
Gov't Spending on Food Assistance for the Needy Would Increase by $169 million
Cheap Imports Would Increase Food Safety Dangers
WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers would be forced to pay 25 percent more for eggs soon if animal rights activists succeed in getting only non-cage eggs sold in the U.S., according to a new study by a respected economic consulting group. That increase would cost consumers $2.6 billion more each year for eggs, a nutritional staple in the American diet. The higher costs would strain Americans' budgets during a difficult economic climate.
Federal spending on food assistance programs for children and the needy also would increase by $169 million annually if the government could only purchase cage-free eggs, according to the study by Promar International, a Washington, D.C. economic consulting firm. Significant amounts of eggs are purchased for the school lunch and breakfast program ($47 million annually); Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC-$100 million); and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-formerly the Food Stamp Program).
The study predicts that such a dramatic consumer cost increase could open the door to a sharp rise in egg imports from other countries that have far lower food safety and animal welfare standards than the United States. Egg imports could rise from virtually zero today to 7 billion eggs annually, seriously straining the ability of the U.S. government's food safety inspection system.
"If we have to start importing eggs into this country we will increase our food safety risks," said Gene Gregory, president of United Egg Producers, a national cooperative of U.S. family egg farmers. "I don't think American consumers really want to play Russian Roulette with every carton of eggs they buy, which is essentially what would happen if we allow special interest groups to force a ban on the most modern, sanitary egg housing systems in the world. Those systems are used to produce 95 percent of the eggs that American consumers buy every day."
Regardless of what the Humane Society of the United States tries to tell us, their actions are either going to make our food more expensive, less safe or both. Those are the only possible outcomes of their stated goals. For the voters that continue to support their measures, these are consequences for their actions as well. This part of the story isn’t being told very well and it needs to be. Having a safe, affordable, domestically grown food supply is vital to our nation’s future success.