Last week, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a consumer protection lawsuit in California Superior Court against Trader Joe’s Company on behalf of a Trader Joe’s egg purchaser. The action seeks to stop Trader Joe’s from deceptively labeling its cage-free eggs and misleading consumers seeking eggs from hens raised in more natural conditions.
Trader Joe’s deceptive marketing violates multiple California consumer protection laws including the Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, and Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
Trader Joe’s Cage-Free eggs are packaged in cartons emblazoned with images of hens foraging outdoors in green, wide-open pastures. But in reality, these eggs come from hens who spend their entire lives inside massive industrial hen houses without any outdoor access. Hens are packed into warehouses with thousands of other birds and never set foot in grass or engage in their natural behaviors outdoors.
The lawsuit contends that the images used on the package misleads consumers about the conditions in which the hens are raised.
“As consumers have become aware of the horrific conditions in which egg-laying hens are kept, they are demanding production methods that cause less animal suffering,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund executive director Stephen Wells. “Unfortunately, some retailers like Trader Joe’s are exploiting this demand by exaggerating the quality of cage-free hens’ living conditions. The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s lawsuit aims to stop this illegal conduct and protect consumers and egg-laying hens alike.”
The law firm of Fazio Micheletti LLP is serving as co-counsel in this case.