European Union ministers have been asked to widen EU egg marketing laws leading to eggs being stamped with their producer’s identity code and information on farming methods, (free range/battery or otherwise) from January 2004.

Following a report on the planned introduction of these rules, the European Commission wants them expanded to producers selling their eggs in public markets, to improve traceability and consumer information.

Meanwhile, Brussels has asked the European Food Safety Authority to report by 2006 whether a reliably safe method of washing eggs can be established. It is generally banned on health grounds in the EU, with some limited exemptions for packers (mainly in Sweden). Brussels asked ministers to insist that packs say if eggs are washed.