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September 26, 2011

General Mills Applauded for Animal Welfare Progress

The HSUS praises General Mills at its annual shareholder meeting for its forward-thinking animal welfare policy.

The Humane Society of the United States praised General Mills (NYSE: GIS) at its annual shareholder meeting for its forward-thinking animal welfare policy. Earlier this year, General Mills announced it would switch one million eggs within its supply chain to cage-free.
 
“By taking this positive step, General Mills will improve the lives of animals,” said Josh Balk, director of corporate policy for The HSUS’ farm animal protection division. “The Humane Society of the United States applauds General Mills for beginning to tackle this important issue.”
 
There has been increased attention to the welfare of egg-laying hens nationwide, and The HSUS is working with consumers and retailers to choose eggs from hens in higher welfare production systems. The HSUS also recently reached an agreement with the United Egg Producers, the national trade association for the U.S. egg industry, and the two groups are jointly advocating for federal legislation in Congress to phase in new housing systems over the next 15 to 18 years, giving hens about twice the current amount of space, providing consumers more information through a labeling program and making other animal welfare improvements.
 
Prior to this year’s announcement, General Mills committed to moving all the eggs in its Häagen-Dazs product line in Europe to cage-free. Major food manufacturers Kraft, Sara Lee, ConAgra, and Otis Spunkmeyer are switching millions of eggs in their products to cage-free. Unilever adopted a policy to convert 100 percent of its eggs to cage-free, including the 350 million eggs used annually by Hellmann’s mayonnaise. Major restaurant chains—including Subway, Burger King, Wendy’s, Denny’s, Sonic, Quiznos, Hardee’s, Carl's Jr. and Red Robin—use cage-free eggs. Supermarket chains including Wal-Mart, Costco and Safeway have also taken steps to increase cage-free egg sales.  
 
The General Mill’s annual shareholder meeting is on Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. at the Children's Theatre Company, 2400 Third Ave. S. in Minneapolis.

Media Contact – Anna West, 301-258-1518, awest@humanesociety.org

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