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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Eggland’s Best sued for claiming eggs contain less saturated fat

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Dive Brief:

  • Eggland’s Best, LLC has been accused of falsely claiming its eggs contain more nutritional benefits and less saturated fat than competitors in a pair of consumer lawsuits.
  • A proposed class action suit filed by a consumer in a Chicago federal court earlier this month takes issue with the company’s packaging claims, which say that its eggs contain “25% less saturated fat than regular eggs.”
  • A related lawsuit from the Organic Consumers Association also challenges the producer’s nutritional, animal welfare and packaging recyclability claims. The egg producer, one of the largest in the U.S., said in a statement to Agriculture Dive that it stands behind its product claims.

Dive Insight:

Consumer groups have ramped up litigation against major food companies in recent years as producers try to capitalize on growing demand for healthier, more sustainable products.

The food and beverage sector faced 187 class actions last year, up from 94 a decade ago, according to law firm Perkins Coie. More than half of the litigation in 2023 targeted false labeling.

The lawsuits against Eggland’s Best allege that independent testing revealed the company’s eggs contain more saturated fat than what’s claimed on the packaging. The Organic Consumers Association’s complaint adds that testing showed Eggland’s Best eggs also contain more cholesterol and calories than claimed.

In addition to challenging products’ nutritional attributes, the Organic Consumers Association is also suing Eggland’s Best for misleading claims around packaging recyclability and animal welfare. The group alleges that the company’s polystyrene cartons are not recyclable and that chickens are raised in conventional caged systems not adequate for normal animal behavior.

Both lawsuits are represented by Richman Law & Policy, a food-focused law firm that specializes in tackling corporate sustainability and other “greenwashing” claims. The class action seeks monetary damages, while the OCA suit demands an injunction preventing the company from continuing to make false claims.

Eggland’s Best settled with the Federal Trade Commission in 1994 for false advertising claims, including that a person could eat 12 of its eggs a week without increasing cholesterol, according to the Washington Post.

The company said in its statement to Agriculture Dive that its product claims are backed by testing.

“We fully stand behind our product claims, which are supported by rigorous quality control measures including approximately 75,000 laboratory tests per year,” a spokesperson said. “Eggland’s Best remains committed to providing a superior nutritional product for its consumers.”

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