Tuesday, February 03, 2009


This is absolutely the truth about our market based ideals... when given the chance, the market will hide a problem rather than prevent a tainted product.  Remember that Salmonella peanut butter?
WASHINGTON – The government acknowledged Friday that a shipment of peanuts from the plant linked to a salmonella outbreakcontained a "filthy, putrid or decomposed substance" later identified as metal fragments. The shipment was returned to the U.S. in April, months earlier than reflected in a federal tracking database.

The rejected shipment — coming across a bridge between New York and Canada — was logged by the Food and Drug Administration but never tested by federal inspectors, according to government records. The computer records show a mid-September date, just weeks before the earliest signs of the outbreak.

The FDA said Friday that the shipment of chopped peanuts from Peanut Corp. of America in Blakely, Ga., was eventually destroyed, after back-and-forth efforts between the FDA and Peanut Corp. broke down and the FDA rejected as "unacceptable" findings by a private lab hired by Peanut Corp. to analyze its peanuts.

"The shipment was refused by FDA for filth," FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Kwisnek wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "The importer requested to destroy the product." Another FDA spokesman, George Strait, said later Friday that metal fragments were found in the shipment.

Read the rest here, but what happened is obvious.  The FDA saw a problem so they requested the corporation test its product.  When tests confirmed the suspicion, they had another test.  It wasn't until there was an outbreak of Salmonella before the FDA stepped in and rejected the shipment.  I think free market thinking without a clear understanding of good regulation is just as foolish as financiers that believe buying and selling expected profits over real ones.  The market has one goal, to make money.  In order to do that responsibly, someone has to be watching.  The consumer will always wind up bearing the burden if Government doesn't take the first and complete step.

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