Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Corrupt Eggcentric Austin “Jack” DeCoster’s Salmonella Factory
August 21, 2010 Marler Blog - antifascistencyclopedia.com
I spoke with Alec MacGillis this morning about the 550,000,000 eggs being recalled and the 1,300 people sickened and the company, Wright County Egg, in the middle of it. His story, “Before salmonella outbreak, egg firm had long record of violations,” and the violations he cites is even shocking to me, and I have been at this for 17 years. I must tell you, I am looking forward to putting him under oath. Here are a few examples:
In 1996, DeCoster was fined $3.6 million for health and safety violations at the family’s Turner egg farm, which then-Labor Secretary Robert Reich termed “as dangerous and oppressive as any sweatshop we have seen.” Regulators found that workers had been forced to handle manure and dead chickens with their bare hands and to live in filthy trailers.
I hope these guys have good lawyers and lots of insurance.
From the Huffington Post: Robert Reich's blog, "Corporate Rotten Eggs,” it is clear that DeCoster was a known scofflaw from 1997. Character runs deep. If the big boss is a scofflaw in one area, he'll almost certainly be a scofflaw in other areas. Thus, his businesses were clearly high risk but our regulators don't appear to have handled them that way.
We must learn the correct lesson from the Wright County Egg. The huge recall arose because the FDA and, possibly, other government regulators did not do a good job. It, also, informs us about S 510 by raising the questions, “How many of our food safety problems are due to the FDA’s failure to do its job? And, “How does will S 510 hold the FDA accountable?”
Note: Corporations often own not only the factory farm but also other aspects of the food production system, including the feed company, slaughterhouse and final stages of production. In North America, a handful of companies dominate food production and distribution.
Comment: DeCoster is evil and uncaring. Whether it’s environmental, animal, or human abuses, it’s all about power and greed. Fines are just a cost of doing business to him - maybe with this latest scandal his factory farming business will go out of business - unlikely, but we can’t continue down this route.
Factory farming and the spread of disease go hand in hand. According to the National Academy of Sciences, roughly 70 percent of the antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs used in the U.S. are fed to farm animals not only to promote growth but to prevent rampant disease from striking animals that are kept in filthy, stressful environments. In fact, many common bacteria including salmonella and a few other culprits like Campylobacter, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and E. coli) have even developed a resistance to these drugs. One person can make a difference; be that one-for your own health, for the animals, and the environment go vegan. Buy locally or grow your own.
Thanks to all those who do undercover work and risk their safety to expose the brutality, the players, and dark side of this obscene industry.
Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Far-Reaching, Humane Egg Bill
July 9, 2010 Care2 Sharon Seltzer
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a historic bill on July 6 that will extend protection to egg-laying hens that live in other states, if the egg producers want to do business in California. The new humane law will have hens across the country spreading their wings with joy.
The bill, AB1437 will require out-of-state egg farmers that want to sell eggs in California grocery stores to adhere to the humane confinement rules created by Proposition 2. That law was passed in 2008 and will be fully implemented by 2015. Proposition 2 ends the use of inhumane battery cages to house chickens.
The Humane Society of the United States said this means all hens that contribute to the egg industry in California must be housed in cages that allow them to “stand up, lie down, turn around and fully extend their limbs without touching one another or the sides of an enclosure” – whether or not they live in the state. HSUS was one of the animal welfare organizations that backed the landmark bill which was introduced by Assemblyman Jared Huffman.
Farm Sanctuary wrote in their blog about the huge impact AB1437 will have on the nation’s hens. “California is the nation’s most populated state and it represents a huge market for eggs and other products, so banning the sale of battery cage eggs in California is extremely significant and will go a long way toward pushing egg producers to move away from these cruel confinement systems.”
Egg producers that do not comply with the new law will face up to 180 days in jail or a $1,000 fine. Just two states, California and Michigan, have passed laws to phase out battery cages.
Ten years ago, there were no laws in the U.S. protecting farm animals from inhumane housing such as veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages. Now there are eight states that have banned some of these cruel housing systems: Florida, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, Maine, California, Michigan and Ohio.
Both HSUS and Farm Sanctuary are confident there will be more victories coming for animals raised at factory farms.
January 24, 2012 Widespread opposition against United Egg Producers' Rotten Egg Bill
November 18, 2011 Activists expose cruelty at McDonald's egg supplier
November 19, 2011 Police raid illegal slaughterplant; unimaginable cruelties revealed
February 10, 2012 Mistreated livestock ‘an embarrassment’ to Australian industry