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Readers Want Punishment in Salmonella Case

There's an unusually high degree of unanimity among our Readers Who Comment this morning about Lyndsey Layton's report that the feds say the Georgia peanut plant linked to a salmonella outbreak that has killed eight people knowingly shipped out contaminated peanut butter 12 times in the past two years.

The readers want punishment. Several used the term murder to describe what has happened. Many decried what they see as a major governmental failing at both state and federal levels and proof that businesses cannot be depended upon to police themselves. A couple of lonely souls argued to the contrary and were shouted down.

There were a number of wry suggestions that perhaps China had it right in assessing the death penalty in that country's recent contaminated milk scandal.

We'll start with sandiegowryter, who wrote, "I call that murder."

abby0802 asserted that "If the company knew it was shipping out contaiminated peanut butter the managers need to be jailed. Period. No excuses."

billmosby said, "Good ol' boys self-inspecting. Well, that's not the mental image I meant to convey, but on second thought... Maybe we should outsource their trial and punishment to China."

postreader118 suggested, "Let's make them eat their own products -- contaminated Little Debbies for all!!!"

geezjan said, "Thank GAWD burdensome government bureaucrats weren't interfering with this maverick enterprising business. He was free to help make America great."

And bknivens wrote, "One more instance of a company proving that businesses can be trusted to regulate themselves. Too bad they're not in China's jurisdiction."

pgr88 said, "Blah Blah Blah - all I see on this blog is a bunch of holier-than-thou socialists using this problem as an excuse to nationalize private property and execute owners. Lefties are the true reactionaries If laws were broken, then prosecute."

To which marecek replied, "IF . . . ???!!!!!!!!!!!!... If people are outraged at such conduct we are holier-than-thou socialist who want to nationalize property. I don't want to nationalize property; I want persons who have put others' lives at risk (causing the deaths of some) to be held accountable..."

WylieD observed that "There will never be enough government inspectors to check all the food processing plants frequently enough to prevent problems. Any system will depend on private industry doing the right thing. What is needed is not more inspectors, but laws that include serious criminal penalties..."

sballegeer wrote, "For punishment I suggest the executives and managers eat some of their own product..."

horace_simon1 said, "I wonder if executions (China-style) would serve as a deterrent for selling poison for consumption."

John1263 wrote, "Doesn't mater whther the owners are rpubs, dems, or Know Nothings. They are clearly criminals. They were able to do this sort of thing for so long because of the stupidity that says corporations should not have government oversight..."

And Doowadiddy added, "...Thanks to the ongoing conspiracy of Republicans in Congress and industry lobbiests, abbetted by two Bush administrations, the regulatory agencies of the Federal government have been reduced to a joke!"

kansasgal1 said, "...The state of Georgia should certainly also be held accountable...after all, peanuts are on[e] of its major industries."

dlpetersdc wrote, "Another example of the utter nonsense of allowing corporations to "voluntarily" police themselves, like the conservatives always want to preach. Let's see how the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the U.S Chamber of Commerce, and the National Manufacturer's Association respond to this one. Way to go."

virtualchemist, noting that the story reported that the Peanut Corporation of America was not required to inform regulators about its internal salmonella tests, said, "This is not regulation; it is capitulation."

seattle_wa wrote. "This sounds like a case calling for the corporate "death penalty". Their corporate charter must be revoked. Any corporate assets remaining after lawsuits should be forfeit. Any employees should be subject to appropriate criminal prosecution."

Caponer said, "This emphasis on enforcement by criminal law is misplaced. Anyone who has prosecuted knows what a time consuming and difficult task it is. Rather, there needs to be more training of the individual workers... In other words, the problems must be handled at the grass roots, not in the corporate board room."

We'll close with sarcasm from ozma1, who wrote, "A fine testimonial to the conservative mindset that wants to keep the government off the backs of business Okay, a few people died, but the invisible hand that carried their souls to eternity got his job through a few well-placed words from the invisible hand of the free market so it's really all peachy-keen free enterprise."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  January 28, 2009; 9:10 AM ET
Categories:  FDA  | Tags: FDA, Peanut Butter, Salmonella  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Readers Debate More Power for Fed
Next: Readers Icy About Obama Comments


I figure we have about 50 years to clean up this country before people are singing the Marseillaise and the tumbrils are rumbling through the streets. Just today I saw that Citigroup had to be talked out of buying new private jet.

These idiots just don't get it. They are damning our country to a sad, sorry conclusion in order to buy their seventh yacht or add another 20 acres to their third summer home.

Posted by: mbmclaughlin | January 28, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

those comments reflect the ever-growing frustration of the public as we watch these thieving, murderous, lying scumbags walk away unfettered from the death and destruction they have wrought.

there better be some judicial accounting before people take matters into their own hands... which, frankly, considering the state of american 'justice' would be much more satisfying.

Posted by: mycomment | January 28, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Obviously comments to an online news report are not going to solve this problem. Nevertheless here are some suggestions.
1. The insurance companies, life and health, who have to pay for the damage caused by this company should be able to recover without filing suit.
2. The companies who had to recall products made with the tainted peanut butter should be able to recover damages again without filing suit.
3. The company should have to pay for permanent on-site inspectors as a condition for remaining in business.
4. Make these conditions applicable to any and all other businesses who wantonly put profit ahead of responsibility.

Posted by: jimbo1949 | January 28, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

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