Photo credit: Veganista
Stepping down earlier than planned, Joanne Ivy, CEO of the American Egg Board, retired at the end of September. Originally set to retire on December 31st, the departure comes shortly after the release of emails in relation to Just Mayo that have become shrouded in controversy — it seems that Egg Board officials were trying to stop Whole Foods from selling Hampton Creek’s vegan mayonnaise spread Just Mayo.
Photo credit: BC Magazine
Hampton Creek was viewed as a “major threat” to the billion-dollar egg industry, and emails indicate that the government-backed Egg Board (run by the USDA) had broken the law as they were lobbying against the company. Emails show that a consultant’s offer “to make that phone call to keep Just Mayo off of Whole Foods’ shelves” was accepted by Ivy. Just Mayo was also criticised for having a misleading name.
The USDA has opened an investigation into the Egg Board and claims to not “condone any effort to limit competing products in commerce,” though perhaps it is ironic that the agency responsible for the controversy is also investigating the case.