Head Of Egg Board Steps Down After Anti-Vegan Mayo Crusade Revealed

justmayoTo advertise entire categories of food, like “potatoes” or “beef” or “eggs,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture collects money from all producers of that commodity, which the Hass Avocado Board or Mushroom Council then uses to advertise those foods to the public. Now the CEO of the American Egg Board will step down a few months early after e-mails revealed that the American Egg Board was working to keep a new eggless mayonnaise product out of stores.

The Egg Board’s CEO was planning to retire at the end of 2015, but instead left her position at the end of September, the Associated Press reports. The USDA is investigating the Egg Board’s actions, noting that the point of the program is not to tear down competing products.

As it turned out, the Food and Drug Administration has its own issues with the product, called Just Mayo, which substitutes pea protein for the eggs normally used to make mayonnaise. Unilever, the maker of Hellmann’s and Best Foods mayonnaises, had filed a federal lawsuit against the company as well.

The reason why the Egg Board exists is to promote eggs through advertising, recipes, and other activities. However, e-mails that Just Mayo maker Hampton Creek obtained and shared with the Associated Press showed that the CEO of the American Egg Board asked a consultant to keep Just Mayo out of Whole Foods stores, which would be an impediment in launching a vegan condiment nationally.

The brand name of Just Mayo remains an important question for Hampton Creek and the FDA to sort out, but you can definitely find the product on the shelves of Whole Foods.

Egg industry group CEO steps down after vegan mayo scramble [AP]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.