Two FARM Activists unfurled an anti-egg banner at today’s Congressional hearing on the recent massive egg recall. The banner read “Recall All Egg Production.”
“DeCoster and his cohorts are a piece of the larger picture. This is not an isolated incident,” was yelled out as the hearing stopped. As the activists were being escorted out, they chanted “All Eggs Kill!” repeatedly. Each year, 230 million male chicks are ground up or suffocated at birth, while an equal number of females are slaughtered after wretched lives, crammed into tiny wire mesh cages that cut painfully into their feet and tear out their feathers.
The hearing, at the Rayburn House Office Building, was called by the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce to delve into the massive recent salmonella contamination and record recall of eggs produced by Austin “Jack” DeCoster’s Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms.
Two of the activists- myself (Michael Weber) and Jen Riley- were detained, along with FARM’s founder/president Alex Hershaft, who was handling media and video. All three were released without charge after it was determined that we left as soon as we were asked to. This action was done as part of the Dirty Secrets component of the World Farm Animals Day campaign. There was news coverage on CNN Health and Yahoo/AP News. See our Youtube video below.
The hearing included testimony from two survivors of the recent salmonella contamination about the severity of their sickness, including weeks of illness, multiple hospital stays, and serious medical procedures – including heart procedures. The next panel included Austin DeCoster, his son, Peter DeCoster, Orland Bethel of Hillandale Farms, and Duane Mangskau of Hillandale Farms. Orland Bethel invoked his 5th amendment rights and refused to answer any questions from the committee. Peter DeCoster answered the majority of questions, including many intended for his father. All of the egg producers expressed how “sorry” they were for the outbreak and Mangskau noted he was sorry for any “inconvenience.” The final person to appear before the committee was Joshua Sharfstein of the FDA who repeatedly stressed the need for food safety legislation to be passed, thus giving the FDA more inspection and enforcement powers. The FDA had never inspected DeCoster’s hen houses and Sharfstein pointed out – they do NOT do general inspections – only AFTER an outbreak has occurred.
View our Youtube video, and check out www.AnimalAgribusiness.com for more of animal agribusiness’s dirty secrets.