Today, Stewart Parnell, former peanut company executive was sentenced to 28 years in prison for his role in a salmonella outbreak that resulted in the deaths of nine people and the illness of 174.
CPR Member Scholar and University of Maryland School of Law professor Rena Steinzor issued the following statement in response to the sentencing:
This sentence shows that the courts are willing to drop the boom on white collar criminal defendants whose elevation of profits over safety go so far as to kill people. Parnell ordered the shipment of peanut paste contaminated by salmonella that not only killed nine people, but also produced one of the biggest recalls in food safety history. His factory was a disgusting place, with broken equipment, a leaking roof, and rodent droppings throughout. Hopefully, this kind of prosecution will motivate the Congress to fully fund FDA efforts to prevent such tragedies.
Steinzor is the author of Why Not Jail? Industrial Catastrophes, Corporate Malfeasance, and Government Inaction.