"The Talk of Maine" piece about Turner-based egg producer, Austin "Jack" DeCoste


Colin Woodward


Down East




41-44, 104


"The Talk of Maine" piece about Turner-based egg producer, Austin "Jack" DeCoster, and his companies' track record of health, safety, labor and other violations and charges of human rights abuses and animal cruelty. Over the past 40 years, DeCoster's companies have paid millions of dollars in fines and damages in different states including a $2 million settlement with the United States government for conditions that former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich considered "as dangerous and oppressive as any sweatshop we have seen." In 2010 DeCoster's Iowa operations were responsible for a salmonella outbreak that sickened 1,939 people nationwide and caused the recall of half a billion eggs. Despite this history, Maine legislators were recently considering a bill that would help DeCoster by eliminating requirements, such as minimum wage and overtime measures, which were created in 1975 in response to violations at DeCoster's Maine operations.

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