Monday, June 30, 2014

Are Eggs With Orange Yolks Unsafe For Human Consumption?

Dr. Jones Feliciano, the vice-president of the Benguet State University's Corporate and Business Affairs office recently irked stakeholders in the poultry industry when he proclaimed that eggs with orange yolks may cause cancer in people who consume them. However, although Feliciano made erroneous statements about egg yolk color in relation to what's natural and what's abnormal, his statements may have been taken out of context.

Two media outlets first reported on Feliciano's statement. These were the Northern Dispatch Weekly and the Baguio Sun Star. However, the reports were lacking in content as they did not identify the place or the event where Feliciano made the statements. In the reports by the two media outlets mentioned, Feliciano said that orange yolk eggs contain synthetic supplements which have adverse effects on people and may even cause cancer. The keyword here is "synthetic supplements". Feliciano's mistake is that he did not bother to differentiate natural orange-yolked eggs from synthetically-induced orange-yolked eggs.

Additionally, Feliciano doesn't have papers or research journals to corroborate his proclamation that orange-yolked eggs are cancerous. And his calling on the Food and Drug Authority to issue a warning about orange-yolked eggs was uncalled for. Any person who claims that orange-yolked eggs are dangerous should back it up with a peer-reviewed study. If no such study exists, a person doesn't get the right to go banging on the FDA's doors and ask that a warning be issued.
Photo by J.P.Lon via Wikipedia Commons
Here's the truth about orange-yolked eggs. The color of an egg yolk is directly influenced by the makeup of the chicken's diet. To assert that the natural color of an egg yolk is yellow or light yellow is fallacious. Egg yolk colors range from nearly white to yellow, to orange, to red, to olive green. And these colors can occur without the influence of synthetic supplements.

Also, it's worth mentioning that the color of an egg yolk does not reliably reflect the nutritional value of the egg. So the statement that lighter colored (or otherwise) egg yolks are more nutritional is not exactly true. In conclusion, you can eat any orange-yolked egg as long the source hen is healthy and not compromised. For more reading on the topic, go here, here, and here.