On July 7, 2015, General Mills (GM) released an updated global policy on animal welfare that contained an announcement that the company will seek to use only cage-free eggs in U.S. production. The company already only uses free-range eggs for Haagen-Dazs ice cream in Europe.
Unlike organic product labeling which requires USDA certification, cage-free eggs are considered to be a voluntary label, meaning there is no requirement for disclosure. The USDA, however, does have a definition of cage-free eggs, and any claim or label “must be truthful and not misleading,” with verification performed by the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service.
GM joins companies such as Starbucks, Kellogg, Nestle, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Walmart in this commitment. There has been no announcement regarding when the company would like to complete the transition, but GM did state that given the recent disruption in the U.S. egg supply due to avian influenza, the company will work with suppliers to establish “a reasonable timeline toward this commitment.”
The full policy can be read here.
July 9, 2015