Sen. Leahy Asks DOJ for Update on Investigation of Peanut Corporation of America

February 23, 2011

By Ricardo Carvajal

In a letter directed to Attorney General Eric Holder, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) for an update on its investigation of the Peanut Corporation of America (“PCA”) and its president, Stewart Parnell.  According to the letter, FDA determined that PCA knowingly distributed potentially contaminated food, and evidence suggests that PCA shopped for a testing laboratory that would provide favorable results.  Sen. Leahy contends that “it is critical [for DOJ] to determine whether these actions rise to the level of criminal conduct.”  The letter also cites the recent pistachio recall and egg-related salmonella outbreak as evidence that “wrongdoers are disregarding the health and safety of American consumers by choosing to sell contaminated products.”  The letter closes by noting that Sen. Leahy has introduced legislation to impose tougher penalties for certain food safety violations, and asks whether DOJ “needs any additional tools to protect the American people.”

Categories: Enforcement |  Foods