Chief separates from American Egg Board three months early

Joanne Ivy was scheduled to retire Dec. 31, but left early amid accusations of attempting to keep egg-free mayo product out of Whole Foods.

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The largest U.S. egg lobbyist group has yet to respond to allegations that it launched a hefty campaign against the San Francisco startup Hampton Creek.

American Egg Board CEO Joanne Ivy has stepped down amid allegations that include “evidence that AEB leadership, including the Egg Board’s president and CEO, may have violated the federal laws and administrative regulations governing checkoff programs.” That’s according to a letter from Utah Sen. Mike Lee to U.S. agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack.

The USDA also has weighed in with a statement that confirms it is conducting an investigation:

AMS is conducting a thorough administrative review of issues involving the American Egg Board. This involves a substantial amount of material, and while AMS expects to complete the review in an expeditious manner, a complete review will take some time. AMS will not comment on personnel matters involving the board.

Specifically, AEB leaders are accused of trying to prevent Hampton Creek from selling its Just Mayo product at Whole Foods.

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