The American Egg Board Wanted To Take Down Eggless Just Mayo

justmayoFood companies work together under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create promotional campaigns that promote whole categories of products. You’ve seen their broadcast and print ads: campaigns for pork (“The Other White Meat”) and liquid milk (“Got Milk?”) really captured the public imagination, sometimes to the point that it led to litigation. Yet it’s the American Egg Board that’s behind both the “incredible, edible egg” campaigns) and an effort to keep vegan mayonnaise out of stores.

The product, Just Mayo, has been in the news recently because of a warning letter sent by a different government food-regulating agency, the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA’s concern is that the company is calling its product “mayo,” when the official FDA definition of “mayonnaise” is that it must contain eggs. The agency also objected to some health claims about the product.

The company behind Just Mayo, Hampton Creek Foods, filed a Freedom of Information Act request and received copies of e-mails sent by the National Egg Board, where the board’s CEO discussed with an outside PR consultant making a phone call to keep the vegan product, Just Mayo, out of Whole Foods stores. The consultant later explained to the Associated Press that he offered to make this phone call because he thought the Just Mayo label is misleading.

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