Just about everyone has heard about the egg recall. Twenty-three states and a half a million eggs affected. What you may not have heard are the details behind this recall. The majority of the recalled eggs have come from Wright County Eggs, putting the focus on the company's owner 75-year-old Jack DeCoster.
This pre-boomer is no stranger to controversy. He's been involved in legal cases that have forced him to settle with the federal government for hiring illegal immigrants, for tolerating sexual harassment at his company, and has faced a litany of animal cruelty charges. DeCoster has also paid millions of dollars in fines and settlements over the years stemming from complaints about the health violations at his farms.
In 1996, for example, the egg farmer was forced to pay more than $3 million in fines after the U.S. Labor Department found dead chickens being picked up by workers with bare hands. The complaint also stated that DeCoster's workers also lived beside manure and rat-infested trailers, according to the Associated Press. The complaint led to a boycott of DeCoster's eggs by several major supermarkets.
In 2000, the Iowa attorney general dubbed DeCoster a "habitual violator" of the state's environmental laws and ordered him to pay a $150,000 fine for failing to properly dispose of the hog and chicken manure and had let it run into a nearby creek.
Earlier this year, DeCoster pleaded guilty to 10 counts of animal cruelty over his company's treatment of its chickens. In June, DeCoster was ordered to pay more than more than $100,000 in fines and restitution.
The charges and subsequent guilty plea came after an undercover investigation by Mercy For Animals, a national non-profit animal protection organization, that said they witnessed live birds being thrown in the trash, employees whipping birds by their necks in an attempt to kill them, and hens living in cages so small that their wings could not be lifted without getting snagged on wires.
With all of these violations, don't you think more drastic measures should've been taken--like SHUTTING DOWN HIS OPERATION?