Hen conditions draw attention

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The Humane Society of the United States has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission to stop an egg producer from making what the group claims are misleading statements about conditions at its egg farms.

The Humane Society filed June 16 against Rose Acre Farms. It says Rose Acre falsely claims it provides a "humane and friendly" environment for its hens.

The group says an investigation at the company's Iowa farms showed hens trapped in cage wires; hens unable to reach food or water; hens with broken bones; and dead hens in cages with live hens.

Rose Acre spokesman K.Y. Hendrix says he wasn't aware of the complaint but disputed the claims. He says the company follows industry guidelines for animal welfare.

Housing market still in slump

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Home construction plunged last month and building permits also fell, the latest signs that the construction industry won't fuel the economic recovery.

Builders are scaling back now that government incentives have expired. The biggest evidence: single-family homes fell 17 percent, the largest monthly drop since January 1991. The struggle in the housing industry is a concern for the economy because fewer homes mean fewer jobs across various sectors.

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