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Massachusetts Egg Legislation: Cage-Free Kerfuffle

Massachusetts has proposed legislation restricting the sale of eggs to the “cage-free” variety. 

  • With consumer’s increasing appetite for more ethical food options, a number of food manufacturers are now marketing “cage-free” eggs.

  • States are getting in on the cage-free action as well. For example, earlier this summer, the Massachusetts Supreme Court approved a ballot initiative proposing that Massachusetts farms and businesses produce and sell only eggs from cage-free hen; the sale of eggs from caged hen would be effectively prohibited under this measure which will be up for a vote this November.  The National Association of Egg Farmers pushed back, citing research that cage-free production does not necessarily lead to “better welfare” outcomes for the birds.

  • It remains to be seen the extent to which consumers’ continuing shift toward ethically-minded foods will result in additional legislative and regulatory efforts along the lines of the upcoming Massachusetts ballot initiative.

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume VI, Number 231



About this Author

Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...