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ATLANTA -- The United Egg Producers here said yesterday that a new research study by a UK-based university indicated that traditionally produced cage eggs in the U.S. might be more environmentally friendly than free range alternatives, and that egg production as a whole is less harmful on the environment than other production of other livestock.
UEP said the study, conducted by Adrian Williams, PhD., senior research fellow at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom, found that cage egg production currently used by most U.S. egg farmers decreases the industry's effects on global warming by 10 percent, while converting to all free-range egg production would increase the effects on global warming by 10 percent; and converting to all organic egg production would increase the effects on global warming by 40 percent.
Free-range and organic egg farms are more environmentally intense because their need for more green space, food and energy, UEP said the study concluded.
The research examined the energy and food levels for farm production on 10 different agricultural and horticultural commodities such as potatoes, tomatoes, beef, milk, poultry, and eggs. In addition to the varying production findings, the study found that Egg production takes less global energy thus producing less greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The study was funded by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs in the U.K.