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Animal rights groups sue FDA over egg labeling concerns

(Reuters) - Animal rights advocates on Thursday sued U.S. regulators to correct what they say is misleading labeling on cartons of eggs that come from caged hens.

The lawsuit comes more than seven years after animal rights groups started petitioning the federal government to take action, with no success. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, alleges that claims made in unregulated egg labeling falsely portray a higher standard of animal treatment to consumers than actually exists, and that various government agencies, led by the Food and Drug Administration, have failed to address the plaintiffs' petitions on the matter, as required by law.

The lawsuit asks that egg producers nationwide be required to clearly label egg cartons with egg production methods, including the identification of "Eggs from Caged Hens," said Megan Backus, a spokeswoman for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit group that is one of the plaintiffs.

FDA officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting By Carey Gillam; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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