DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Senate wants to require Iowa grocers in a supplemental food program to offer conventional eggs if they sell eggs from chickens housed in cage-free, free-range or enriched colony cage environments.
The Des Moines Register reports that senators passed the measure Monday and sent it to the governor.
The legislation would apply to grocers that participate as vendors in the federal program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC. The measure would allow state officials to seek a federal waiver if necessary.
Democratic Senator Herman Quirmbach of Ames says the bill amounts to “direct interference in the marketplace,” but Republican Senator Dan Zumbach of Ryan praises the legislation for ensuring that a lower-cost choice for protein is available to people in the program. Cage-free chicken eggs typically are more expensive than conventional eggs from large operations.