DeCoster’s man tried to bribe the USDA

I’ve written before about why self regulation doesn’t work and specifically did not work in the case of Jack DeCoster’s Iowa egg production facilities in Iowa.  Turns out DeCoster’s people were seeking to bribe their way out of the few regulations they were subject to:

Iowa Egg Farm Manager Pleads Guilty To Bribery by Jeff Whitten for KWQC, Sep. 12, 2012

According to the United States Attorney’s Office, Wasmund admitted that, on or about April 12, 2010, as part of the conspiracy, he authorized the disbursement of $300 from a Wright County, Iowa, egg production business knowing the cash was to be used to bribe a USDA Inspector. The bribe was intended to influence the USDA Inspector to release for sale fresh shell eggs that the USDA had retained because they failed to meet USDA standards.

Given that the 2010 salmonella outbreak went on to sicken thousands, it seems clear that whatever small number of eggs the USDA was able to hold back from market was not sufficient.  Props to their inspector for not taking the money (or at the very least holding out for a better deal that a measly $300!)


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