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Probe into free-range egg claims

Countdown supermarkets are offering customers a full refund on Palace Poultry eggs, after allegations some cage eggs may have been sold with the free-range label.

Last week it was revealed the Serious Fraud Office is investigating allegations egg suppliers Palace Poultry sold Countdown cage eggs that were meant to be free range.

While the matter is under investigation, Countdown has pulled Palace Poultry products from its shelves.

This isn’t the first instance of caged eggs allegedly being passed off as free range in New Zealand. In August 2014, Forest Hill Farms owner John Garnett was sentenced at the Whangarei District Court to 12-months’ home detention and 200 hours of community service for packaging and selling more than 200,000 dozen cage eggs as barn laid or free range, Green Ideas magazine reported.

Mr Garnett pleaded guilty to 20 charges brought by the Commerce Commission relating to deliberately mislabelling the caged eggs.

For details regarding the law around free-range claims, read our article here.

If you’re concerned about free-range claims, look for an independent accreditation, such as the SPCA Blue Tick on egg packaging.

 

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First published: Mar 2017



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