American Egg Board CEO Steps Down Amidst Embarrassing Vegan Mayo Controversy

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Egg Industry Head Steps Down Amid Embarrassing Vegan Mayo Controversy

The CEO of the American Egg Board has retired early just after company emails surfaced showing her efforts to block the sale of Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo vegan mayo at Whole Foods. Just Mayo is a condiment that uses pea protein and other plant-based ingredients to produce what it says is a healthier and more affordable mayo.

Joanne Ivy retired in September when prior to the release of the emails, she had said she planned to retire at the end of the year. Her departure comes as emails reveal a conspiracy to take down Just Mayo, the vegan mayo company she saw as getting too much media attention.

Eater reports:

Emails that were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show the board discussing whether or not to alert the FDA about how the name “Just Mayo” is misleading. They also joked about putting out a “gangster-style hit” on Hampton Creek’s CEO. There are also emails that show Ivy accepted a consultant’s offer “to make that phone call to keep Just Mayo off of Whole Foods’ shelves.”

The American Egg Board did not succeed in blocking the food start up from being sold at Whole Foods, but even still, the controversy has caused an investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who oversees the program.

According to The New York Times:

In a statement regarding its investigation, the USDA said it is “committed to establishing a level playing field that protects and promotes all appropriate agricultural endeavors.” It said it did not “condone any efforts to limit competing products in commerce” and that its administrative review would take “some time” to complete.”

The emails were obtained through Freedom of Information expert Ryan Noah Shapiro and his attorney Jeffrey Light before being turned over to Hampton Creek and then the AP.

Recently, Hampton Creek received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over its use of the name  “Just Mayo” when its vegan mayonnaise does not contain any eggs.

Earlier this year, the start up received ample media attention when its CEO Josh Tetrick wrote an open letter to the presidential candidates that was printed in The New York Times, asking them to fix a “broken food system”.

Related on Organic Authority

Hampton Creek CEO Asks Presidential Candidates for Leadership in Fixing a Broken Food System

Hampton Creek’s Vegan ‘Mayo’ Needs a New Name: FDA Says No Eggs, No Mayo

Unilever Withdraws Lawsuit Against Just Mayo’s Eggless Mayonnaise

Image: Mark H. Anbinder

The post American Egg Board CEO Steps Down Amidst Embarrassing Vegan Mayo Controversy appeared first on Organic Authority.

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