May 21, 2018

Food Safety; Climate Policy; Food Security; 1099 Concerns; Rural America; and First Lady Speaks on Nutrition

Food Safety

Philip Brasher reported yesterday at the Green Fields Blog (The Des Moines Register) that, “Jack DeCoster and Orland Bethel, the two figures at the center of the salmonella outbreak traced to Iowa eggs, will answer questions from a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee at a Sept. 21 hearing, say spokeswomen for the executives.

“If the men do cooperate with the lawmakers, that would set them apart from Stewart Parnell, the peanut butter maker who in 2009 refused to answer questions about a deadly salmonella outbreak linked to his products. Pannell took the Fifth to avoid answering questions from lawmakers.”

Mr. Brasher added that, “Meanwhile Monday, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, introduced legislation that would make it a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison to knowingly sell tainted food. It’s currently a misdemeanor offense for first-time offenders, and even then the government rarely prosecutes. No charges have been brought so far against Parnell. The maximum prison term under current law is three years.

“The stiffer law wouldn’t take effect until the bill is enacted. Leahy plans a hearing on his bill Thursday, so that it could be added to a food-safety bill pending in the Senate.”