Whatâ€™s behind the massive egg recall that is making headlines across the nation? The numbers suggest that factory farming may be to blame. The 380 million eggs that have been recalled so far were produced at five farms owned by a single company, Wright County Egg.
The companyâ€™s owner, Austin â€œJackâ€ Decoster, has been in hot water before.Â A number of companies owned by Decoster have been investigated and fined for health, safety, and environmental violations over the years, as documented by the animal advocacy group Mercy for Animals.
The FDA says that it is investigating conditions at Wright County Egg farms. Time will tell what they find. What we do know is that Decosterâ€™s company's own millions of laying hens living under what appear to be unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
Given Decosterâ€™s history, it should be no surprise that one of his companyâ€™s is behind the current recall. One does have to wonder why Decosterâ€™s is allowed to remain in business after years of well-documented violations. If authorities had taken firm action to shut down his factory farms years ago, the current crisis may have been averted altogether.
The FDA has yet to issue a recall for Quality Egg of New England, another Decoster owned business. The company's millions of chickens continue to produce eggs that will be consumed by consumers in the Northeast.
The FDA appears to be getting the message. The AP reports that Chief Margaret Hamburg is urging Congress to grant the agency more authority to take preventive action against egg industry violators and hold them accountable for health and safety violations. Till then, I'll be buying my eggs at the local farmers' market.