From Paul Shapiro, the HSUS' vice president of farm animal protection, in an email statement forwarded to me today by his PR staff:
“Egg prices always fluctuate during the year, and always rise in winter. Egg producer Cal-Maine notes, “wholesale shell egg market prices … fluctuate widely and are outside of our control.” Egg prices go up and down based on energy costs, feed prices, and other variables. Prices for all animal products have increased this year due to high grain prices. Egg prices have increased less than prices for beef and pork, and remain one of the least expensive animal products in the marketplace.Meanwhile, the United Egg Producers cooperative, which represents more than 90 percent of egg producers in the United States, isn't saying anything. From their spokeswoman, Hinda Mitchell:
“After Europe brought in animal welfare reforms in 2012, egg prices initially rose, only to fall a year later. If egg prices rise in California, it will be because many egg producers failed to use the six year phase-in period to prepare for the law, and prices will subsequently fall as they did in Europe as supply adjusts to demand and as egg prices fluctuate as they normally would.”
Tim, there were a number of possible scenarios that could have resulted from the California regulations, just as there are a number of possible scenarios that could be impacting prices, so we're not going to be able to speculate on what is occurring in the market, as market and pricing are not areas UEP addresses.Attention farm groups: If you're going to let HSUS get out in front of you on issues such as this, you can't complain that their activities are hurting your image.
My story is in my editors' hands and should be up at CapitalPress.com soon.