Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations is moving to compel the owner of the Iowa egg farms at the center of the nationwide recall to testify before them. Braley says Jack DeCoster was supposed to testify this week, but has refused to appear voluntarily.
Braley says the committee is going through the procedures to subpoena DeCoster if necessary. “And we expect to hear a full and frank discussion from him about the circumstances at Wright County Egg and the other egg facilities that had the enormous problems with the recall and why those situations developed and what steps have been taken to address them,” Braley says.
The F.D.A. released inspection reports at the end of August that showed numerous violations at Wright County egg farms that were the source of millions of eggs linked to the salmonella outbreak and massive egg recall. Braley is vice-chair of the committee, and says he expects DeCoster to give them more information, even if he is forced to testify.
Braley says the committee felt it needed additional information and explanations from “people in the know” about the decisions made at the egg farms. “And we certainly expect that during the questioning whomever appears and testifies under oath will have a compelling reason to be honest with the committee and to provide full and frank answers. And if that doesn’t happen, then the committee is going to continue pursuing the investigation until we get the answers we need,” Braley said.
Braley did not say when he thought DeCoster might be required to testify before the committee.