Consumer group calls on DeCoster-owned egg franchise to clean up act – across the board – National Consumers League

August 25, 2010

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Washington, DC–The National Consumers League, the nation’s oldest consumer organization, today called on the Iowa egg producer at the center of the recall of 500 million eggs for Salmonella contamination to clean up its operations across the board, citing concerns about plant cleanliness, egg handling practices, treatment of workers and animals, and its disregard for the environment.

The National Consumers League, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization founded in 1899 to ensure the safety of workers producing the goods purchased by consumers, is calling for companies to recognize the connection between the quality of manufacturing practices and the safety of their products.

The following is the statement from NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg:

Consumers don’t want to buy products from companies that abuse their workers, mistreat their animals, or pollute the environment. And they certainly don’t want to buy food that contains pathogens that could make them or their families sick.

What some companies fail to grasp is the relationship between the quality of products they hope consumers will spend on and the way the company operates behind the scenes. Operations that disregard the welfare of workers, that allow unsafe work environments, treat farm animals inhumanely, and improperly dispose of waste thus creating environmental hazards, are more likely to flout the law and produce goods that turn out to be harmful to consumers who eat them. The current egg recall from the 5 million mega-egg DeCoster production operation reflects a history rife with violations of the law.

When a company is guilty of a litany of violations as DeCoster has been, violating the rights of workers, engaging in cruel treatment of animals, and disposing improperly of waste, it’s no surprise to us that this same company would have an outbreak of contamination of its eggs with Salmonella and foodborne illness as well.

The National Consumers League calls upon Jack DeCoster and the company he runs to review its operations at all levels and to agree to a set of principles that will address these issues across the board.


About the National Consumers League

Founded in 1899, the National Consumers League is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Its mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. NCL is a private, nonprofit membership organization. For more information, visit