Responding to FDA reports that the company responsible for the salmonella-tainted peanut butter that has infected over 500 people knew its products were contaminated, two members of Congress have called for a criminal investigation into Peanut Corporation of America .
Through its investigation, the Food and Drug Administration has determined that Peanut Corporation of America knowingly distributed potentially contaminated product after samples tested positive for salmonella more than a dozen times in the past two years to more than 100 consignee firms, for use as an ingredient in hundreds of different food products. In addition to knowingly selling these tainted products, Peanut Corporation of America also shopped for a laboratory that would provide the acceptable results they were seeking after initial tests found their products to be contaminated. This Salmonella outbreak involving peanut butter products is now linked to eight deaths and has sickened approximately 500 people across the country, forcing one of the largest food recalls in history.
It is clear that the behavior of the Peanut Corporation of America was egregious – harming hundreds of Americans and endangering many thousands more. We believe it is critical to determine whether the actions and omissions of this company rose to the level of criminal conduct. If crimes were committed, those responsible must be identified and held accountable.
This probably won’t satisfy some of our commenters, who have called for Chinese-style punishment for PCA’s directors, but we’re hopeful that justice will be served.