The NSW minister responsible for fair trading matters, Victor Dominello, must push for a nationally legislated standard for free-range pork products after the ACCC found some of the biggest producers have been misleading consumers for 15 years, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
Dr Kaye said: ‘For 15 years, consumers have been duped into paying more for pig products that claim to be free-range when the animals were in fact raised indoors.
‘The label “bred free-range” was never about meeting consumer demand for higher animal welfare products.
‘It was a marketing term designed to deliver more profits to the pork industry.
‘Consumers wanting to avoid the horrors of sow stalls have been misled into thinking they are buying high animal welfare products.
‘It looks as through the pork industry has been learning from the industrial egg producers on how best to abuse the “free-range” label to rip off consumers.
‘Inaction on the truth in labelling crisis by the NSW government has allowed for the exploitation of a growing number of consumers for more than a decade.
‘It should not left to organisations like Humane Society International to expose the systematic rorting of animal welfare labels.’
• See ‘ACCC concludes review of “free-range” and other similar claims in the pork industry’, ACCC Media Release, 3 September 2015, http://j.mp/ACCC_FRpigs)