General Mills moving toward cage-free eggs

MINNEAPOLIS - General Mills (GIS) is vowing to use cage-free eggs in its products.

The Minnesota-based food giant says it's committed to going to 100 percent cage-free eggs for its U.S. operations, following several other large companies recently announcing similar moves. The company says it will work with its suppliers to determine a reasonable timeline, given the disruption that bird flu has caused to the U.S. egg supply.

Eggs are an important ingredient in many products for General Mills, whose brands include Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Progresso soups and Hamburger Helper.

Free-range chickens for rent

The updated policy also affects General Mills' milk, pork and poultry suppliers.

General Mills worked with the Humane Society of the United States, which calls it a major victory to improve the lives of farm animals.

Other companies are facing pressure to shift to cage-free eggs. The Humane Society last month released undercover footage showing chickens being mistreated at a supplier to Costco Wholesale (COST).

The European Union so-called banned battery cages in 2012 after studies found that housing hens in overly close quarters raises the risks of of salmonella poisoning.