The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Peanuts:
Profits before Safety

Feb 9, 2009

In the last 3 months, more than 500 people across the country caught salmonella poisoning from contaminated peanut products.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists traced the epidemic to a peanut-processing plant in Georgia, owned by Peanut Corporation of America. Records showed that contamination occurred as early as 2007 – but the plant had not been cleaned as required.

How did the company cover up for so long? The company was not required to release its tests to the Georgia state inspectors. In fact, when the FDA wanted to do something – after the scandal broke – it used a bioterrorism law to pry the records out of the company's hands!

Yes, when public health is left locked in private hands, bioterrorism is a word that fits.