Whole Foods Market at Variance with FDA on GM Labeling

Apr 10, 2014

Last week EGG-CITE commented on the fact that Whole Foods Market appeared to be morphing into a self-appointed regulatory agency.  At issue was their requirement that produce sold in their stores should be grown without application of municipal sewage sludge, which represents no danger to consumers and is strictly regulated by the EPA and state authorities.

Over the past year, Whole Foods Market has consistently advised that they will be requiring labeling of the GM status of all products sold in their chain.  The Company maintains “Our goal is not to eliminate GMOs from our stores but to have products that may contain GMO, labeled as such. 

Ultimately GMO produce, animals that are feed GMO feed and products that contain GMO ingredients will all be labeled in our stores”. Whole Foods Market justifies this completely unnecessary, inflationary and unscientific requirement in the statement “Our customers have asked for this level of transparency and in the absence of federal standards we have taken the initiative with our suppliers on their behalf”.

{See posting on proposed Federal legislation introduced by Congressman Mike Pompano}


Egg Industry News


2013 AEB Annual Report

Apr 18, 2014

The annual report by the American Egg Board documents the categories and expenditures on activities amounting to $20.4 million for the year ending December 31st 2013.  This value was 5% higher compared withFiscal 2012.

Virtually all (99.6%)  revenue was derived from assessments.  During the past year, the AEB generated $2.7 million from the difference between revenue and expenses indicating prudent management. Assessment in 2013 was 10 cents per 30-dozen case from 142 producers with more than 75,000 hens. 


Weekly USDA Prices and Inventory

Apr 18, 2014


The USDA Egg Market News Report for Monday April 14th 2014, (Vol. 61: #30) documented the following “most frequent” range of Midwest prices as delivered to warehouses:-

  Prior Week   Current Week
Extra Large      163 –  163          163  –  166  cents per dozen
Large 161 –  164   161 –  164  
Medium 135 –  138   144 –  147  
Certified Organic EL 275 –  310   275 –  310  
Breaking Stock 118 –  120   118 –  120  
Checks 102 –  107   104  –  108  



Michael Foods To Be “Acquired” By Post Holdings

Apr 17, 2014

According to a press release dated April 17th Michael Foods has announced that it has been acquired from Goldman Sachs by Post Holdings, Inc. (POST)for a purchase consideration of $2.45 billion.  The acquisition is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2014, after completion of formalities. EGG-CITE reported on ongoing negotiations and prospective suitors including Tyson Foods on February 20th and March 21st 2014. (see- Search Tab- enter “Michael Foods”)


Opposition to Urban Egg Production

Apr 17, 2014

EGG-CITE has commented extensively on the disadvantages of backyard flocks in urban areas.

Recently voters in Volga, SD. voted against allowing chickens and other poultry in backyards within the municipal area.  It is doubtful whether this action will be reflected in other communities where backyard chickens have become established. 

It is the opinion of many that the “urban-chicken” craze has peaked as enthusiasts recognize the cost and inconvenience of attempting to produce their own eggs.  A major issue is now the disposal of hens many of which have become a nuisance and imposing additional costs for animal control authorities.


Comprehensive Review of Lighting for Egg-Production Flocks -- Dr. Ian Rubinoff

Apr 16, 2014

2014 Midwest Poultry Federation Convention.

The Power Point slides, which were presented, are reproduced with his permission for the benefit of ourreaders.

It is important to understand the underlying factors which influence activity and how selection and implementation of lighting programs can affect productivity and hence profitability. Both basic physiology and practical application are included in the review. Recently manufacturers of LED lamps have generated unsubstantiated hype and have made unscientific claims regarding the benefits of their technology with respect to production.

The presentation by Dr. Rubinoff provides clear explanations on how lighting affects chick growth, development during rearing, subsequent onset of lay and production"

• View the Online Slide Presentation



2015 International Production and Processing Expo

Apr 15, 2014

USPoultry has announced that the 2015 International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) will take place from Tuesday through Thursday January 27th through 29th 2015 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta GA.


XIVth European Poultry Conference

Apr 15, 2014

The XIVth European Poultry Conference will be held in Stavanger, Norway from 23rd to 27th of June 2014.

The preliminary scientific program will include a session on the future of poultry production including food safety and food security and challenges such as sustainability in the 21st century.  Specific sessions will be held on amino acid nutrition, meat quality, genetic diversity, and environmental control.  Additional focus events will deal with embryo nutrition, egg quality, welfare, physiology, mycotoxins, product safety and education.


H5 AI In Japan.

Apr 15, 2014

According to a ProMED posting on April 13th a case of strain H5 avian influenza has been diagnosed. The index case involved 112,000 hens at a farm in Taragi, Kumamoto Prefecture, The affected flock and hens on a similar contact farm have been depopulated. The Ministry of Agriculture also ordered a ban on the shipping or moving of chickens and eggs within a 1.8 mi radius of the two farms.

According to the Kumamoto Prefectural government, the farmer first discovered 70 chickens dead on Friday 11th April and another 200 the following day, suggesting that a high-pathogenicity strain was involved. The Prefectural government conducted a preliminary investigation on Saturday determining that one live chicken and five dead chickens were “positive” (assume viral antigen detected) for H5 AI. The prefectural government also conducted a DNA test on Sunday 13 April on specimens from the index farm which yielded the same H5 virus strain.


Walmart Affiliates with Wild Oats on Organic Marketing

Apr 15, 2014

Walmart Stores Inc. has reached an agreement to sell Wild Oats Organic Foods at discount prices. The products will include 100 Wild Oats packaged foods which will appear in 4,000 Walmart Stores. 

The deal does not include produce and dairy items which will retain an organic premium.Wild Oats was re-acquired by Supermarket mogul Ralph Burkle who also owns most of the Fresh and Easy stores in California “purchased” from Tesco Plc.


Eggs by Drone?

Apr 15, 2014

Amazon has initiated a trial using their Dash device to access AmazonFresh.  The system is in operation in San Francisco and Seattle by invitation only.

The handheld Dash remote-control incorporates audio and a barcode reader and is integrated with the AmazonFresh account of the customer.  AmazonFresh which has operated in Seattle for the past two years is intended as a precursor of a larger-scale entry into the online grocery business.


AEB Easter Promotions

Apr 15, 2014

Joanne Ivey, president and CEO of the American Egg Board has circulated a note that the AEB Incredible Edible Egg, Easter Promotion aired on Friday April 4th on The Chew. This popular program is broadcast and syndicated by the ABC Channel. The hosts of the program demonstrated how to hard boil eggs and to decorate shells for Easter.

On April 14th, a slideshow will appear on the Huffington Post and will include egg decorating and recipes for Easter brunch incorporating eggs.



Apr 11, 2014

EGG-CITE  tabulates and interprets monthly statistics compiled from data released by the USDA and the Department of Commerce, as collated by the Egg Industry Center (EIC) under the direction of Maro Ibarburu in consultation with Don Bell, Emeritus Specialist of the University of California at Riverside.

Comments supplementing the production summary tables for the latest series No.50 made available by the EIC on April 10th 2014 are tabulated together with comparison values from the March 10th 2013 posting.

Read the full report at http://egg-cite.com/statistics/single.aspx?contentID=2786


Shane Commentary


The Demise of Cellulosic Biofuels?

Apr 18, 2014

EGG-CITE has previously questioned the economic and technical viability of cellulosic biofuels.  If we can believe successive Administrations, the diversion of corn to ethanol was to be a temporary expedient until we were able to manufacture fuel from cellulosic waste and non-food crops.  To date the only non-corn biofuel produced has used municipal waste as a feedstock.


Clarifying Confusion and Uncertainty – UEP at the EIC Forum

Apr 17, 2014

Chad Gregory addressed attendees at the 2014 Egg Industry Issues Forum in Indianapolis on Tuesday April 15th.  The impromptu presentation related to the special meeting of the UEP Board to consider strategy in the light of the uncertainty surrounding the proposed restrictions on supply of eggs to California, arising from AB1437 passed in 2010.

At the current time the Attorneys Generals of six states have challenged the legality of the regulations which they characterize as a thinly disguised attempt to protect the domestic State industry through interdicting interstate commerce. 

A further complication is that the agreement between the UEP and HSUS has obviously broken down according to Gregory. Despite previously supporting the principle of enriched modules, the HSUS now appears to have reverted to their 2008 position, that only non-confined systems are acceptable in terms of Proposition #2.

Dr. Simon M. Shane
Simon M. Shane
Contact     C. V.

Industry Prices: Fri Apr 18
 Corn4.95 $/bu
 Soybeans15.14 $/bu
 Soybean Meal488.30 $/ton
 Eggs, Producer117  ¢/doz
 Eggs, Warehouse 161-164 ¢/doz