Iowa Congressman Tom Latham, a Republican from Ames, says the egg recall is having a tremendous economic impact on his congressional district. Latham’s district includes Wright County Egg in Galt and Hillandale Farms of New Hampton, where about 550 million eggs have been recalled due to salmonella, as well as other farms that help make the state the nation’s largest egg producer.
Latham says the impact of the recall will be felt throughout the state. He says it’s an economic tragedy, as he says the fourth district has more egg production that any congressional district in the country. Latham says more inspection and oversight of the industry is needed to make sure recalls don’t happen in the future.
Jack DeCoster, who has a previous record of violating environmental laws and worker-safety rules, is linked to the two farms from where the eggs have been recalled. Latham says the actions of DeCoster are having a big impact other egg producers in the state.
“It is a major economic blow throughout the state and the district, Iowa has about twice as many eggs produced as any other state in the union, it’s something we’re very proud of and this is just I hope a short-term disaster,” Latham says.
He says Iowa egg producers normally do a good job in supplying the nation and this is an aberration. Latham says egg producers statewide have told his office they want to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. Latham says the producers want to get to the bottom of the cause of the salmonella outbreak as soon as possible since it’s a “black mark on the entire industry.”
Latham says they don’t know yet if the salmonella got into the eggs through the feed unknowingly fed to the chickens, if it was bad management, but he says they need to find out the cause as quickly as possible. The wholesale price for eggs has jumped nearly 40%percent in two weeks from 98-cents a dozen to $1.35.
At least 1,300 salmonella cases in three states have been linked to the eggs.
By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City