McDonald's, Target Drop Sparboe, Buffett In Japan

McDonald's and Target have severed ties with Sparboe Farms, one of the country's main egg producers, after an animal rights group released video of workers treating the chickens cruelly. Meanwhile, investor Warren Buffett is in Japan for a factory opening in Fukushima Prefecture, the area hit hardest by the March earthquake and tsunami.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with two big companies dropping eggs. McDonald's and Target have severed ties with one of the country's main egg producers after an animal rights group released video of workers treating the chickens cruelly. The retailers say they're pulling all egg supplied by Sparboe Farms. McDonald's said the behavior of the workers on tape is, quote, "completely unacceptable." Wal-Mart also stopped working with Sparboe six weeks ago, though that company says the decision had nothing to do with animal welfare concerns. The head of Sparboe Farms said she was shocked by the video and that the four employees involved were fired.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In Japan, investor Warren Buffett is making an appearance at factory opening in the area that was hardest hit by the March earthquake and tsunami. Buffet is an investor in the factory which makes hi-tech cutting tools used in automotive and aircraft manufacturing.

The 81-year-old investor was supposed to visit the factory last March but his trip was delayed by the natural disaster. He says his views on Japan are changed by this disaster or accounting fraud scandal involving the storied Japanese camera maker firm Olympus.

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