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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Nine dead, over 700 sickened by Salmonella Peanuts and Stewart Parnell is a free man?

Thinking I had to be up at 4:30 AM this morning to participate in a phone conference (it is actually Friday morning – I’m a day ahead here in Australia), I awoke at 3:30 AM to Mary Clare Jalonick’s article about Stewart Parnell’s new job – consulting for the peanut industry – REALLY? Her best opening lines:

Parnell5th.jpgThe peanut industry executive whose filthy processing plants were blamed in a Salmonella outbreak two years ago that killed nine people and sickened hundreds more is back in the business.

Stewart Parnell, former president of the now-bankrupt Peanut Corp. of America, is working as a consultant to peanut companies as the federal government’s criminal investigation against him has languished for more than 18 months, The Associated Press has learned.

Parnell, who invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying before Congress in February 2009, once directed employees to “turn them loose” after samples of peanuts had tested positive for Salmonella and then were cleared in a second test, according to e-mails uncovered at the time by congressional investigators.

Where is justice in this? More to the point, where are the US Attorneys for Virginia and Georgia? A well place rumor has it that witnesses are still being interviewed (lab folks), so, a Grand Jury may still await Mr. Parnell. But, for the families who have suffered, should not someone light a fire under this?

  • Randy Napier

    My mother was the ninth victim of the peanut butter that Stewart Parnell told his people to turn them loose. While my mother lie six feet under, Stewart Parnell walks free and now working in the same business. Justice? What justice? This has taught me that if you have enough money and know the right people, you can get away with murder. In an interview with Stewart Parnell, he said that he feels deeply sorry for the ones who died and would like to tell them that face to face. Maybe that would be the answer for our justice department, because if he stood in front of me, someone would be going to prison and it would not take 18 months. I am beginning to feel hatred towards our justice department for their lack of execution on this very important matter. What kind of message is the justice department sending to the rest of the industry? “Turn Them Loose”