Correction regarding which Pohlmann son was fined
ANIMAL PEOPLE has learned, 11 years after publication, that the November 2000 article “Million hens killed in Ohio-twister hits like forced molt” conflated the identities of two sons of Anton Pohlmann, who built battery egg production complexes in both Lower Saxony, Germany, and Ohio.
Both complexes have been in frequent legal difficulty for decades over a variety of labor, occupational safety, and environmental quality issues.
The Pohlmann complex in Croton, Ohio, was initially called AgriGeneral Co., and later became Buckeye Egg Farm.
Sold in 2004 to investors funded by Austin “Jack” DeCoster, believed to be the most often fined entrepreneur in agribusiness, the facility was doing business as Ohio Fresh Eggs when in November 2010 it recalled 280,000 eggs due to salmonella contamination. Other DeCoster egg farms were earlier in 2010 linked to separate salmonella outbreaks that sickened more than 1,600 people.
One of Anton Pohlmann’s sons, Marcus Pohlmann, was president of Agri-General Co. during 1994-1996. Marcus Pohlmann during that time issued media statements defending the Pohlmann operations in both Ohio and Germany, while seeking permits to expand the Ohio facilities.
Another Anton Pohlmann son, Stefan Pohlmann, was involved in the German operations. Toledo Blade reporter Kelly Lecker recounted in a November 1999 investigative series, summarized by ANIMAL PEOPLE, that in 1994 Anton Pohlmann “used an illegal drug [in Germany] to treat salmonella…Court records state that when [a poisoned] worker went to the hospital, Pohlmann’s son did not at first tell doctors what had happened. Records state that the worker could have died from damage to the diaphragm, heart failure, or aspiration.”
ANIMAL PEOPLE in November 2000 misidentified that Pohlmann son as Marcus; the son was actually Stefan.
Associated Press reported that a charge of failing to provide medical aid against Stefan Pohlmann was dropped on condition that he pay a $65,000 fine.