Hampton Creek is on a mission: to create healthier, more sustainable products that major food companies and everyday consumers can enjoy and feel good about. It’s a mission that is supported and financially-backed by well-known venture capitalists, including Bill Gates.
Armed with extensive food science knowledge along with compassion and the common sense that cramming birds into cages isn’t good for them — or us — in 2013, Hampton Creek hatched Just Mayo, a plant-based product that has spread so quickly, the egg industry is now scrambling.
According to a breaking news article by the Associated Press, the American Egg Board (AEB) has “waged a campaign to counter the emergence of Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo spread, and even tried to prevent its sale at Whole Foods.”
While it’s no surprise that the AEB engages in public campaigns to promote the sale and consumption of eggs, its attempt to stop the sale of competitor products, such as Just Mayo, is where some legal experts suggest things start to smell a bit rotten.
The AEB, which collected $23.5 million in funds from US egg producers last year alone, is a national checkoff program overseen by the US Dept. of Agriculture, making it a “quasi-governmental” body. Its mission, as noted on it’s website, is “to increase demand for egg and egg products on behalf of U.S. egg producers.”
As further noted in the AP article, according to Roger McEowen, director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State University, it appears the board may have acted beyond its authority: “An argument could be made that they’re not in the business of preventing other products from being sold.”
In other words, as a recent headline sums it up: “There is literally a US government conspiracy against vegan mayo.”
This concern has been raised in a new petition on WhiteHouse.gov that is calling for a congressional investigation of the USDA for its “alleged attempts to block progress in sustainable food by illegally targeting Hampton Creek.”
You can show your support for healthier, more sustainable, plant-based foods by signing and sharing this new petition.