Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What deregulation brings

Is not freedom nor open healthy markets nor sensitive-to-the-consumer corporations, but this:

RALEIGH -- Federal authorities are hunting the mastermind behind a "horrific case" in which bacteria-laden syringes shipped from an Angier plant sickened at least a hundred people and killed five.

Two men pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Raleigh for their roles in ignoring sterility standards at the former AM2PAT Inc. plant. Conditions there appeared more consistent with a textile factory than a pharmaceutical facility.

The men -- plant manager Aniruddha Patel and quality control director Ravindra Kumar Sharma -- were each sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for fraud and allowing tainted drugs into the marketplace.

And this:
Washington — Even after Peanut Corp. of America learned its products were tainted with salmonella, it kept shipping them to unsuspecting customers, apparently putting profits ahead of public safety, according to documents and testimony presented at a congressional subcommittee hearing Wednesday.

Company president Stewart Parnell and Sammy Lightsey, manger of the Blakely plant at the center of one of the biggest food poisoning cases in recent history, refused to answer questions from a House panel, invoking their Fifth Amendment right not to present self-incriminating evidence.


Even in the heat of the nationwide outbreak, Parnell seemed more worried about his company’s profits than with food safety, according to regulators and congressional investigators.

On Jan. 19, Parnell sent an e-mail to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, pleading with the agency to let it continue its business. He wrote that company executives “desperately at least need to turn the raw peanuts on our floor into money.”

U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, (R-Gainesville), said the company’s actions not only hurt consumers and revealed problems with food safety, but also decimated the peanut industry that is central to Georgia’s economy.
We will always need regulation because hardwired into the human DNA is short term greed and selfishness. How many times have we been persuaded by eager corporations that we should just let them do what they do best... and then we die from their products?

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