Corporate executives indicted for willfully endangering public health

Officials from the Peanut Corporation of America are being indicted for their roles in a 2009 salmonella outbreak that killed at least nine people. It's rare for this kind of prosecution to actually happen, writes Maryn McKenna at her Superbug blog. But, in this case, there's mounds of evidence that executives circumvented safety testing, ignored positive salmonella results, and pressured their employees to send out product even though it might be tainted. Here's the money quote, from PCA's former president, revealed in an email recovered by the prosecution: "Shit, just ship it."

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  1. IT IS MONEY… IT IS MONEY… IT IS MONEY… IT IS GODDAMN MONEY THAT WE DO NOT HAVE BECAUSE OF HOW LONG I HAVE ALLOWED you, your crew and everyone down there to let THIS GO ON… STOP THE MONEY FROM EVER GETTING OUT OF THE PRODUCTION FLOW!!!!!!!!!!

    When the execs point their fingers at the workforce, I bet this little quote gets repeated a little.

  2. Just further evidence that Libertarianism works.

    Product testing is totally unnecessary bureaucracy, and corporations should be able to ship out whatever without testing, as they face liabilities and penalties under the law for their behavior and will always be caught and punished appropriately for their wrong doing. 

    And even if you allow a bureaucracy to monitor products, the wrong-doers will circumvent them – so this just unfairly punishes the good actors.

    1.  Fat lot of good it does for those harmed by the irresponsible behavior, because the damage is done. Food borne illness can be deadly, and simply punishing after the fact means your willing to increase the body count for some sort of nebulous idea of capitalist “freedom”.

      And removing any sort of product testing creates a massive disincentive for those “good actors” to do it independently, because they will be out-competed by those who cut that cost. And our food supply will be much less safe as a result.

      1. Thank you, I’d never heard that term before, I had wondered if I needed to add a sarcasm label.  Given the absence of significant reaction, I’m assuming most understood it was sarcasm.

        1.  The sarcasm label would have been helpful, because your just posted the usual libertarian argument nearly verbatim. I honestly couldn’t tell if you were serious in this case.

          1. I think if I’d labelled it as sarcasm it would have had less impact, I don’t mind being misunderstood by some.  But the few Libertarians I meet on a day-to-day basis, tend to mollify their opinion when confronted with their own logic in situations where it clearly should not apply.  As antifud quite rightly points out, there is no real compensation for death; obviously the law tries to apply a remedy, but one cannot be made whole again when they have died through someone else’s negligence.

    2. except that it proves the opposite, because people have been killed from these products. There is no damage or liabilities and penalties that “fix” a situation which is already broken. Show me a punishment that makes up for innocent deaths, and I’ll show you that there is no just or equivalent punishment. That’s proof of Libertarianism causing the problem, and yet trying to gain credit for the fix.

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