A Consumer's Guide to Food Labels and Animal Welfare

Many food labels are confusing, if not downright misleading. While some food label claims have definitions controlled by the government, most do not have legal definitions. In addition, most label claims are "self-made" by the company merely for marketing purposes, and the accuracy of the claims is not verified.

Below are definitions and the animal welfare implications of some of the most common labels applied to dairy, egg, meat, and poultry products. The labels are organized into three categories—"certified labels," "unverified claims," and "meaningless or misleading claims."

This information is also available as a concise pocket guide, and can be downloaded or ordered by clicking here.