Saturday, January 31, 2009

Troubled peanut firm's chief also an industry quality adviser

BOB KEEFE/Cox Washington Bureau, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Jan. 31, 2009):

 The president of the peanut company linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak serves on an industry advisory board that helps the U.S. Department of Agriculture set quality standards for peanuts.

 Stewart Parnell, president of Peanut Corp. of America, based in Lynchburg, Va., was first appointed to the USDA’s Peanut Standards Board in July 2005 and was reappointed in October for a second term that runs until June 2011, according to the USDA.

 The outbreak of salmonella linked to peanut butter made at the Peanut Corp. of America plant in Blakely, Ga., has sickened more than 500 people in 43 states and may have caused the deaths of eight.

 On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is working with the Department of Justice on a criminal investigation of the Peanut Corp. of America.

 The Georgia Bureau of Investigation also is looking into whether the company may have broken any state laws. . . .

The full story is available here.

1 comment:

Neal Fortin said...

From Bill Marler:

Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) operated a Plainview, Texas facility that “blanches, dry roasts, oil-roasts and chops peanuts, then ships them to food companies across the country,” but was operating without a license.

Also, according to “All Peanuts,” the PCA Plainville, Texas plant “never was inspected until after the company fell under investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to Texas health records obtained by AP…. [And raised questions] – including how it could have operated unlicensed for nearly four years [and] about the adequacy of government efforts to keep the nation’s food supply safe.”

PCA’s website has been taken down except for a few press releases and an address where it can be sued: Registered agent for service of process: Ct Corporation System 
1201 Peachtree St Ne # 1240, Atlanta, GA 30361.

With Bankruptcy looming, Congressional hearings to attend and criminal defense lawyers to retain, being sued by Salmonella victims is quickly becoming the least of PCA's problems.