Home Spanberger: ‘Exorbitant’ egg prices, avian flu need to be focal points for USDA

Spanberger: ‘Exorbitant’ egg prices, avian flu need to be focal points for USDA

Rebecca Barnabi
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The price of eggs is high and Virginia faces the threat of avian influenza as January ends.

The Consumer Price Index listed the price of eggs last week as having increased by 60 percent from December 2021 to December 2022, the sharpest increase of any grocery item.

A contributor to the price increase is the spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influence (HPAI) in American poultry flocks. A flock of commercial turkeys were confirmed last week by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as the Commonwealth’s first case of HPAI.

U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, the only Virginian on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, announced Friday she is pressing the USDA to recognize the threats posed by avian flu to Virginia producers and to take more steps to lower egg prices. She also requested a briefing on USDA’s efforts to protect poultry farmers’ flocks, respond to HPAI outbreaks and bring down prices.

“As a mother of three children, I know how important this nutritious food staple can be to families, and how fast a family can go through a carton of eggs. These costs add up for families,” Spanberger said in her letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.