Rudy Sendlhofer with his free-range flock. Photo: TREVOR VEALE 06080901A
Rudy Sendlhofer with his free-range flock. Photo: TREVOR VEALE 06080901A

Egg scam no yolk for free range farmers

By BELINDA SCOTT

WHEN is an egg not an egg?

When it's not what it seems.

The breakfast plate has become a battleground with accusations that the 'big boys' in the egg industry are ripping off gullible consumers by substituting cage eggs for free range eggs in supermarkets.

A recent statistical analysis looked at the number of eggs being sold as free-range versus the number of free- range chooks and found there were more eggs being sold than those chooks could possibly produce.

The conclusion was that up to 200,000 cage eggs a day were being passed off as free-range, ripping off shoppers to the tune of almost $13 million annually.

Greg Randell says some big egg producers have been passing off cage eggs as free-range eggs for years and he's seen the racket in operation.

"It's easy. All they to do is buy free-range boxes and put cage eggs into them, but what can we do?" asked the free-range egg producer, who has about 15,000 hens on his Coutts Crossing farm and sells eggs in shops from Coffs Harbour to Lennox Heads.

The NSW Food Authority is now investigating the claims, but Mr Ran-



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