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The bill would eliminate the duplicative and conflicting state laws that are confusing to consumers, grocers, restaurateurs and farmers. This sensible approach is supported by egg farmers like me; more than 40 state egg and farm organizations including our family farm; 10 animal protection groups like the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; scientific groups like the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Association of Avian Pathologists; and consumer groups like the National Consumers League and Consumer Federation of America.

The bill also has bipartisan support in Congress, with 90 Republican and Democratic sponsors and co-sponsors -- a notable achievement in today’s political climate. Notably, the bill is supported by voters, too, by a 4-to-1 margin, according to independent research.

This bill will preserve jobs here in our state, and every state across the nation, and provide egg farmers with stability in the future.
 
Congress has only to look at Europe to see what could happen in the U.S. without passage of this egg bill. The European Commission’s single compliance deadline for egg farmers there has caused reports of egg shortages and higher prices for European consumers. The gradual phase-in period and specific housing guidelines outlined in our legislation will assure the U.S. marketplace of a stable egg industry and supply, at a cost estimated to be less than two cents per dozen over the next 15 years.
 
This legislation is an excellent idea for consumers, farmers, grocers, restaurateurs and hens. Let’s hope Congress sees it that way, too, when they vote on it in July!

Lathem is chairman, United Egg Producers, which represents nearly 90% of egg farmers; he also is a Georgia egg farmer