Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

What peanut-company executives have to say…

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From Congressional Quarterly:

Executives of the peanut company blamed for a deadly salmonella outbreak refused to testify Wednesday at a House committee hearing, citing their rights to avoid possible self-incrimination.

Their move came as Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry A. Waxman , D-Calif., disclosed internal e-mails showing the company was notified last fall by a private lab that its products tested positive for the pathogen.

Waxman disclosed the e-mails at a hearing convened by his panel’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee to question Stewart Parnell, president of the Peanut Corporation of America, plant manager Sammy Lightsey and federal officials about the failure to protect the food supply.

On the advice of counsel, however, both Peanut Corporation officials invoked their Fifth Amendment rights and refused to testify.

Panel members called for legislation to tighten food safety regulations in a bid to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

“How many sick kids does it take for us to finally act?” asked Diana DeGette , D-Colo., pressing for passage of her bill (HR 815) to authorize mandatory recalls of contaminated food products.

Peanut products processed at the corporation’s Blakely, Ga., plant have been confirmed as the source of the outbreak now tied to eight deaths. The company provided potentially tainted products to manufacturers for use in hundreds of grocery goods, including crackers, candy and ice cream.

“Peanut butter goes well with jelly, but not with salmonella. We learned once again, with this recall, that mandatory recall authority is required,” declared Edward J. Markey , D-Mass.

Jan Schakowsky , D-Ill., added, “What I really find amazing is …"

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Written by Leisureguy

11 February 2009 at 11:52 am

Posted in Business, Congress, Food

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