Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Poisoned Peanuts + Lack of Oversight = Questionable Food Security

Shame on corporations who place greed and profit over the health, safety and security of everyday people all around the world. Corporations and small businesses, including those who produce our nation's food supply, are a part of a cadre of business people who each bear significant responsibility for the security, economy and reputation of our nation.

Over the past 2 years, the Peanut Corporation of America repeatedly found salmonella in its product. When salmonella was found, the company went lab shopping for a conflicting opinion. Then, they purposefully chose not to report positive test results showing salmonella contamination to the FDA because they are unethical and it was not legally required. They also chose to repeatedly ignore their responsibility to immediately remedy the contamination problem in their manufacturing plants. Finally, the Peanut Corporation of America continued with business as usual in complete disregard for the health, safety and lives of the consumers who trusted in them, while banking their profits on the deaths of (so far) eight of their trusting consumers.

The people involved in this scandal should be arrested, held and tried on innumerable charges. These charges should include premeditated murder - they knew the likely outcome of a salmonella outbreak - death - yet chose to do nothing. Business people should be held accountable and a message should be sent to all: you WILL be held accountable for your wrongdoings. Your free ride is finally over!!! You are here to serve your consumers, your country, and only after that, you may make a reasonable profit.

The next problem in this fiasco that has killed eight people, is a criminal lack of oversight. This is yet another prominent example of the Bush/Republican push towards deregulation. Helloooooo. Is anybody our there? Since when do people, especially business people focused on profit, have enough integrity to do the right thing? This is why regulations were instituted in the first place. Hellooooo! People will do whatever they "can get away with." So, of course, it makes perfect sense to extensively deregulate all markets and expect people to do the right thing.

I could go on (and on), however I think that the current condition of our economy, the mortgage industry, etc. very effusively illustrate my point. We need to come to a more balanced view of regulation, where our country, security, food supply, infrastructure, environment, and the heath and welfare of all citizens actually are all taken into account when (de-) regulating a "free" economy. News Flash: Nothing in life is free. When people die because they cannot safely purchase and eat peanut products, deregulation should be thrown out the window.

Related to food security, the high fructose corn syrup found in over 80% of our foods, contains mercury. Check out this link:

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