The Attorneys General of the states and the District concluded that the logo misled consumers about the quality of UEP standards by suggesting that the logo implied a higher level of care. Last year, the industry replaced the logos, which now read, “United Egg Producers Certified.” UEP also agreed to pay $100,000 to states for legal fees, consumer education, and other costs. UEP also agreed not to resume use of the “Animal Care Certified” logo or to misrepresent the level or type of care given to hens.
“Consumers have a right to rely on the plain meaning of a trade association logo that certifies to good corporate conduct,” says Attorney General Robert Spagnoletti of the District of Columbia.
UEP denies in the agreement that its logo or advertisements ever misled or confused consumers.
“We never admitted any guilt, but thought it best to put this issue behind us,” says Gene Gregory, UEP vice president. Originally, he says, the states wanted $250,000. Gregory says that behind the issue were petitions filed by the Humane Society of the United States, and Compassion Over Killing.Gregory says that the original intent of the logo was not to have the message aimed at consumers, but rather at retailers so they would know eggs were produced in accordance with UEP guidelines.