The whole mess with salmonella and peanuts is pathetic.
Congress is holding a hearing titled “The Salmonella Outbreak: The Continued Failure to Protect the Food Supply” to determine whether Peanut Corp. officials knew that the peanuts they were shipping had tested positive for salmonella. Peanut Corp. President Stewart Parnell has been compelled to testify before the Subcommittee. According to one version of the story, when Parnell was informed that some of the company’s products tested positive for salmonella, he allegedly stopped using the lab that came up with so many positive results and shipped the product anyway.
If it really comes to light that the owners of the peanut companies knew that they were putting a bad product out into the market, they should be bailed out with several billion dollars in government loans. Ooops. Wrong industry.
If it really comes to light that the owners of the peanut companies knew that they were putting a bad product out into the market, they should be heavily fined and potentially jailed.
Henry Waxman, the Democratic Representative for the Los Angeles area of California and chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce was quoted during the hearing as stating that “this company cared more about its financial bottom line” than about food safety.”
Waxman’s state has lost more than 800 inpatient pediatric hospital beds in the past 10 years and his own district has lost more than 400 inpatient pediatric hospital beds in the past 10 years because his state is repeatedly unwilling to pay for appropriate childhood medical care.
When Waxman’s state and the district he represents are “more concerned about their financial bottom line” than about the safety of the children they represent, I find his criticisms of the peanut industry a little ironic.