The case for cage-free egg production
Regarding the Sept. 14 Health story "Fight over bad eggs has lasted for decades":
The industrialization of the egg industry didn't just play a role in the emergence of egg-borne salmonella. Confining hens in cages so small they can barely move an inch their entire lives allows factory farms to cram hundreds of thousands of hens under one roof. The massive manure pits under the cages can create a breeding ground for disease-carrying rodents and flies and an enormous volume of contaminated airborne fecal dust.
The evidence is clear: Every one of the past 10 studies published in the scientific record comparing cage vs. cage-free egg production found higher rates of salmonella contamination in cage operations. It's time for the egg industry to phase out these hazardous and merciless cages.
Michael Greger, Washington
The writer is director of public health and animal agriculture for the Humane Society of the United States.