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Bill requiring competition for cage-free eggs passes Iowa House

February 27, 2018

Des Moines Register,


February 26, 2018-

Iowa grocers participating in a supplemental food program would need to offer conventional eggs if they sell eggs from chickens housed in a cage-free, free-range or enriched colony cage environment under an Iowa House bill passed Monday night. House File 2408 was approved on an 81-17 vote, sending it to the Iowa Senate for consideration. Supporters said the legislation would apply to grocers participating as a vendors in the special supplemental food program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC  The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in cooperation with state officials, and the bill would allow state officials to seek a federal waiver if necessary.

Rep. Jarad Klein, R-Keota, the bill’s floor manager, said the legislation is intended to assure that a low-cost choice for protein is available when low-income Iowans head to the grocery store. Free-range or cage-free eggs are typically more expensive than conventional eggs from large farming operations. Supporters also pointed out that Iowa is the nation’s leading egg producer, noting the egg industry provides thousands of jobs and consumes millions of bushels of Iowa corn and soybeans.

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