As the economy continues to spiral down a record number of Americans are tapping their 401(k) to pay the bills. Both loans against savings and emergency withdrawals are up from last year. On the other end, 25% of employers have stopped making contributions and more employees have jobs that don’t even offer retirement accounts to begin with.
The last such outbreak was from the anti-biotic drugs they were using to keep the chickens laying eggs under horrible conditions or it could be some entirely new corporate malfeasance. The number of eggs involved has gone past a half billion and they’ve stopped announcing the number of eggs when adding new plant numbers and brands to the list. One brand recalled turned out to be counterfeit packaging according to the brand’s owner who denied authorizing DeCoster to package eggs under their name.
Jack DeCoster is well known for how many times he’s been charged with just about any violation that a giant corporate farm can be. Everything from massive manure spills into waterways to animal cruelty and neglect on a massive scale. He’s been fined 2 million dollars for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants and charged by OSHA for abusing workers in a variety of ways. Including but not limited to forcing them handle dead animals without gloves or protective masks in the presence of government inspectors and forcing them to live rat infested trailers adjacent to manure storage.
On a farm like this the volume of manure exceeds the sewage output of a large city. The ammonia and other chemicals in the air routinely exceeds EPA safety levels. Jack DeCoster’s hog operations in Iowa racked up so many violations in the 1990’s that the Iowa Attorney General classified him a habitual violator in 2000.
The truth is that there has always been food poisoning but as bigger and bigger corporations control nearly all food production the problem has become one of scale. Not only does the outbreak affect huge numbers of people but the “economies of scale” these corporate “farms” operate at allow them to do things no small farmer would dream of. A little chemical here, a little recombinant DNA there, what could go wrong? www.prairie2.com