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Owner of Peanut Corp. ordered tainted products shipped

This may seem like old news because the investigation into the salmonella outbreak has been ongoing for several months, but the today’s news highlights something very troubling as more details are made available.

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We need to remember the name of Stewart Parnell, the owner of Peanut Corp. of America. The House of Representatives has subpoenaed Parnell to appear before them and explain why he ordered his workers to ship tainted peanut products, even after independent laboratories had tested his peanut stock and found it to contain salmonella bacteria. According to company emails obtained by a House committee, Parnell ordered the shipments to continue because he was worried about lost sales. From The Associated Press:

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The owner of a peanut company urged his workers to ship tainted products after receiving test results identifying salmonella, according to internal company e-mails disclosed Wednesday by a House committee.

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The company e-mails obtained by the House panel showed that Peanut Corp. of America owner Stewart Parnell ordered the shipments tainted with the bacteria because he was worried about lost sales.

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Parnell was ordered by subpoena to appear before Congress on Wednesday to discuss the outbreak that has led to 600 illnesses, eight deaths and one of the largest recalls in history, more than 1,800 products pulled. His Georgia plant is blamed for the outbreak.

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I have never been in charge of a company like that, so I am sure I have no idea the kind of pressure Parnell must have been feeling. I also can not imagine how anyone could order the shipment of products known to contain salmonella or any other bacteria that can cause such pain and death. Stewart Parnell was concerned, I am sure, about the future of his business and his employees, but it sounds like that concern got out of hand. With the Georgia plant shut down, maybe permanently, his entire business is now in jeopardy. I wonder if he thinks it was worth it?

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • If he ordered the product to be shipped after it was tested, and came up tainted, that is absolutely shameful, and there should be some punishment.

    MuskogeePolitico’s last blog post..Local School Board Results

  • mmmpi

    I think this is an example of unregulated capitalism. This company knew what it should do but decided that money was more important than human lives. The regulations on a restaurant, for example, say the health board can forcibly close the doors, if the place is found any of the violations found at this plant. FDA, according to reports, can not due this to a manufacturer of packaged goods for sale. Now I’m not one to say, “Oh my God something bad happened; let’s create some new laws while the public is still angry” but I think this is an example of needed (it’s difficult for me to even type) law.
    It makes me wonder what the accounts look like at this place, were they that close to going bankrupt that it was worth risking the company to try to “cut-corners” or, was this more about making more money so this guy could buy another luxury item of his choosing?
    Therein, I think, lies the real story.


  • Ron

    My family and I lived in Georgia for a number of years, and saw the enormous peanut industry. Peanuts everywhere. To me, there’s nothing better than a PBB (peanut butter & banana) sandwich or peanut butter on a piece of chocolate cake.

    To read about this, and know there has been such a negative impact because of the tainted product, is disheartening, to say the least. We don’t know all the details, but if he knowingly allowed infected peanuts to leave the plant, something is definitely wrong.

    A little sidebar: what about the members of congress and the senate who knowingly pass legislation that will negatively affect people’s lives, but pass it anyway to save their seats? Where’s their conscience?

    Ron’s last blog post..Chocolate Brown Allan & Sons ESV1 Bible

  • The term is “evil.”

    Then again, we hear all the time that companies had to choose whether to implement some life-saving measure, and didn’t do it because it would be too expensive.

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    • The almighty dollar reigns supreme. The Bible is certainly right when it says “the love of money is the root of all evil”.

  • You can say that again…

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