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Food Safety News

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Mens rea

Controlling bad eggs — on the farm and in the C-Suite

Contributed

Editor’s note: This column by Tommy Tobin was first published by the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology at the University of Minnesota Law School. Food can — and all too often does — make people sick. Anyone who has suffered from foodborne illness would be unlikely to want to repeat the experience. The… Continue Reading

Seminar asks: Do criminal prosecutions make food safer?

After a string of successful prosecutions of food industry managers and executives, the defense bar is getting ready to bite back. The teeth are showing in the title of an upcoming web seminar: “Do Criminal Prosecutions Make Food Safer? The Problem with Regulating Food Safety Through Criminalization.” The seminar is being organized by the Washington… Continue Reading

Not a lot standing between egg man Jack DeCoster and jail

The sole question remaining before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals is whether the federal jail sentences imposed on Austin “Jack” DeCoster and Peter DeCoster are lawful in light of the findings at sentences. In a newly filed response to the DeCosters’ request for a rehearing on their three-month sentences, government attorneys say the sentences… Continue Reading

Sentencing reformers will be listening to DeCoster appeal panel

If those controversial Koch brothers and the conservative Heritage Foundation have their way, sentencing reform may soon require evidence of mens rea — criminal intent — before courts could convict defendants. Before Congress is likely to act on that reform, however, a three-judge panel in St. Paul, MN, will hear from two top appellate attorneys on a closely related… Continue Reading

Food Safety Misdemeanors Might Require Showing ‘Guilty State of Mind’

One option the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has pursued since at least 2010 in criminal prosecutions of corporations and officers is to bring charges that do not require proof that defendants were in a criminal state of mind. However, it’s an option that may be ending soon. FDA’s policy — seen recently in… Continue Reading