Stewart Parnell of US Peanut Corp has been a member of the USDA Peanut Standard board since 2005 though eight people have died and over 500 sickened due to infections from peanuts processed by the company.
The Department of Justice and Georgia authorities are investigating the circumstances of the contamination as to whether the long history of contamination at the plant warrants criminal charges and of what severity.
The AJC notes that the board was not involved in setting safety standards but the USDA wording sure makes it seem like the group was supposed to keep some kind of eye on food safety.
As reported in Atlanta Journal Constitution "Troubled peanut firm’s chief also an industry quality adviser ":
Created by the 2002 Farm Bill that provides federal subsidies to farmers, the board advises the secretary of the USDA on “standards intended to assure that satisfactory quality and wholesome peanuts are used in the domestic and import peanut markets,” according to the USDA.
Wholesome. You'd think a product, to be wholesome would have to be clean and uncontaminated. If those words don't intend to protect Americans from harm they certainly are deceptive. That was the glorious realm of Bushco Republican governance.
Promise them anything, while your cronies steal and make war.
The sooner such crap is cleaned out of our government, the better.
The AJC like most of mainstream won't go hard on this large local industry, and other sources are positively propagandistic.
The Lynchburg News and Advance declares "Lynchburg company doing all it can in salmonella outbreak "
Sure it is, just like Brownie, they're doing a heck of a job.
And just like the Bush administration an abyssmal lack of concern for years helped create the crisis and now they are expressing remorse and contrition.
The LN&A mentions that the the Peanut Corp of America which is registered in Lynchburg is just an office in the back of Stewart Parnells home there which is actually just outside of the city limit, and the main office is in Blakely, Georgia, and mostly sans employees (all the better to keep them away from the press, I'd suppose). The PCA website has taken down all information on itself and is instead links to media reports.
The report transmits Mr. Parnell's regrets, which I believe to be very sincere, but note that he isn't the only business head that has been sorry after tragedies ensue from the use of their goods and services. The head of Value Jet now recreated as Jet Blu, to Odwalla (which no longer uses unpasterized apple juice) to the company that packs Fresh Express vegetables who say they no longer buy from farms with inadequate boar-proof fencing, though reports keep coming down showing concern about flimsy plastic 'boar fences'. I
I'm sure these people are very sorry, but there is also a saying in business that it's easier to apologize after a problem develops than to make sure it doesn't happen in the first place. I have no evidence that the companies involved in the incidents above went by that philosophy, but it makes a person wonder.
I need to cut the LN&A some slack as they reported on an interview with Stewart Parnell's sister from a local TV station, and in report "Peanut family member asks for understanding " cut it in with some of the damaging information from the FDA (which the sister basically calls liars).
Still it would be nice if there were a local source that would hunt down some of the former employees (get a reporter who speaks Spanish, Dummies) that would get an inside scoop (I'm betting that immigrants don't sign nondisclosure contracts)
How were employees treated, and did they have to use the same sinks after using the restroom in which they used to clean the mops and utensils as reported by the FDA.
Still I'm sure that they are very sorry for the problems, like the woman who gave alcohol to a 15 year old boy who then took a car for a spin killing himself and a friend and putting his half brother in the hospital.
But rich industry people get to express their regret across the nation, and a poor women in Fontana will get only approbation and arrest. Yes, she should be punished, but um so should the peanut king whose product has sickened and killed more.
Also see AP report "Feds rarely file charges in tainted food cases "
An earlier post "More Peanut Products Recalled. Recall Now Goes Back 2 Years. Filthy Conditions in Plant " has links to the FDS site from which you can search for a product recalled.
tags: food contamination fda usda peanut recall peanut products
EXPOSING the FDA and the USDA - Broad Casting here the things that they would prefer us NOT to know about our FOOD & DRUGS & Farming.