LEBANON, Conn. (AP) – State officials have charged a Lebanon farm with selling eggs from Maine in cartons labeled as “Connecticut Grown.”

The departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection are accusing the Mitlitsky Egg Farm of misleading the public about the source of the eggs sold in stores.

The egg cartons had labels saying “Connecticut Grown” and “produced and packed by Mitlitsky Egg Farm,” when the eggs actually were from Quality Egg of New England in Turner, Maine, officials said.

“I am disturbed by this finding,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Edwin R. Rodriguez. “We must maintain the public’s trust in the locally grown market by vigorously enforcing the law to ensure that what is grown locally is labeled, advertised and sold without material omission, deception or misrepresentation.”

The department said a customer told them in November 2003 that the Mitlitsky eggs were mislabeled, and the department warned egg companies in April that eggs coming from other states shouldn’t bear the state’s logo.

But in August, the department received another complaint that Mitlitsky eggs being sold in a Norwich supermarket were mislabeled. While the cartons had the state’s logo, the USDA routing and packaging codes showed that the eggs came from Maine.

Misuse of the “Connecticut Grown” logo carries a fine of $25 per carton. Agriculture officials also requested that the state attorney general file a lawsuit against the egg farm under laws regulating unfair trade practices. Violations of those laws carry a $5,000 penalty for each violation.

Rich Mitlitsky, an owner of the Lebanon farm, was not available for immediate comment Monday night.

He said in August that the situation was a mix-up, and that the farm had directed the company that prints its cartons to remove the logos from the eggs that were not from Connecticut.

“If I’m not mistaken, this happens to be a batch of old cartons that got used up by accident,” he said.


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