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Food Safety News

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Peanut Corporation of America

FSMA Readiness: Accountability Starts at the Top, Just Like Sarbanes-Oxley

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As enforcement time nears for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), experts such as Repositrak’s Randy Fields are being heard making comparisons between FSMA and the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The first major revamp of federal food safety laws since 1938 and the most-far reaching reforms of business practices “since the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt”… Continue Reading

DOJ: Wilkerson’s Move for Acquittal in PCA Trial Isn’t New and It’s Too Late

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Government attorneys have roared back at the former quality control manager for a Blakely, GA, peanut processing plant who claims she was wrongly convicted of obstruction of justice. Mary Wilkerson wants a federal judge to grant her an acquittal for the crime a jury convicted her of last September. But U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys… Continue Reading

Sentencing Process Resumes for PCA Defendants

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Requests to put more time on the clock may not be over, but Pre-Sentence Investigation Reports (PSIRs) have now been filed for all five defendants convicted in the federal government’s case against Peanut Corporation of America, and some are under deadline for appeals. PSIRs are confidential documents prepared by Probation and Pretrial Services, a unit… Continue Reading

Acquittal Motion Thickens Plot as PCA Post-Trial Wait Continues

More Than Six Months Have Passed Since Verdicts

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A two-month break in post-trial action in the criminal prosecution of former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives ended Thursday with more than 50 pages being filed in support of an acquittal for defendant Mary Wilkerson. Wilkerson, quality control manager for the Blakely, GA, peanut processing plant that was the source of contamination in a Salmonella… Continue Reading

Attorneys Substituted on Stewart Parnell’s Defense Team

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One of Stewart Parnell’s many attorneys has withdrawn as counsel in the Peanut Corporation of America criminal case now approaching the second anniversary of its original criminal indictment. According to court documents, Atlanta-based attorneys William B. Hill Jr. and Alexander J. Bartko, have notified the court that the national firm of Polsinelli P.C. is no… Continue Reading

Defense Wants Indefinite Continuance for PCA Pre-Sentence Report Objections

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The Pre-Sentence Investigative Report (PSIR) for Stewart Parnell has been submitted to the court — ordinarily a sign that sentencing in a federal criminal case is drawing near — but apparently not in this case. Before PSIRs for Michael Parnell and Mary Wilkerson were readied, attorneys for all three defendants in the Peanut Corporation of… Continue Reading

DOJ Food-Safety Enforcement Role to Continue in 2015

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When producers of such staple foods as beef, eggs, and peanut butter found they were the targets of federal criminal prosecution, it became a top food-safety story of 2014. But is it likely that food-safety enforcement will continue to rely on these U.S. Department of Justice-led (DOJ) criminal cases in 2015? You can bet on… Continue Reading

The Top 10 Food-Safety News Stories of 2014

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The top 10 food-safety news stories for 2014, as chosen for the sixth consecutive year by the editors of Food Safety News, were announced today. According to the Internet news site, here are this year’s most important food-safety stories: 1. The U.S. Department of Justice backs up federal food-safety agencies, including USDA and FDA, with unprecedented… Continue Reading

Prosecutors Says Inconsistencies Among Verdicts Aren’t Grounds for Acquitting Michael Parnell

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Government attorneys have asked U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands to deny Michael Parnell’s motion for acquittal on the charges for which a jury found him guilty after a nearly eight-week trial. In its first response to post-trial motions made by all three defendants in the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) case, the prosecution… Continue Reading

PCA Post-Trial Events Turn Secretive, But Potential Appeal Arguments Emerge

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In the 75 weeks between the indictment and the start of the trial, and during the eight-week jury trial, the criminal cases against former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives have largely played out in public. But since the jury handed down guilty verdicts a month ago, many of the orders, motions, and documents filed… Continue Reading