Peanut Corporation Of America Owner’s Possible Sentence More Than 800 Years
Sep21

Peanut Corporation Of America Owner’s Possible Sentence More Than 800 Years

Stewart Parnell, the former owner of the Peanut Corporation of America, is scheduled to be sentenced today for his role in a salmonella outbreak that started in 2008. According to health officials, the outbreak killed nine people and sickened 714 people in 46 states. The sentencing is being conducted Judge W. Louis Sands in U.S. District Court in Albany, Georgia. Peanut Corporation of America was identified as the source of a massive salmonella outbreak that was first detected in 2008. As part of its operations, the company sent peanuts and peanut butter to a variety of food manufacturers and distributors. During the case, evidence was presented that Parnell and the other defendants fabricated certificates of analysis (COA) summarizing lab results regarding pathogens in food. The defendants were also charged with conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and obstruction of justice, amongst other charges. Parnell was found guilty of 70 felony counts, including faking results of lab tests. He faces a sentence of 9,636 months, or more than 800 years, after being convicted by a federal jury of knowingly shipping tainted peanut butter to Kellogg and other companies. This would effectively be a life sentence for the 61-year-old Parnell. It would be the most severe penalty ever given to a person involved in a food safety case. The judge is expected to uphold a lengthy sentence. Parnell is the first executive to be convicted of a federal felony for a foodborne illness case. Parnell’s brother, Michael, a food broker, and the quality control manager of the plant in Blakely, Georgia, Mary Wilkerson were also found guilty in the case. Michael faces 19 to 24 years in prison while Mary faces five years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that roughly 48 million Americans get sick from foodborne diseases. Of those, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die. There were 818 distinct foodborne disease outbreaks recorded in 2013. In the last three years, there have been several major cases involving foodborne outbreaks where U.S. prosecutors have achieved convictions. In 2014, brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen of Jensen Farms were convicted for their role in a cantaloupe listeria outbreak. In 2015, Austin “Jack” DeCoster and his son Peter DeCoster of Quality Egg LLC were sentenced for a 2010 salmonella...

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Volkswagen Ratings Yanked By Consumer Reports
Sep19

Volkswagen Ratings Yanked By Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports has pulled the ratings for some Volkswagen vehicles from its results after an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency found that the company was intentionally misleading about the vehicle’s emissions. The EPA found that Volkswagen deliberately acted to evade the Clean Air Law by installing software on its vehicles designed to fool emission testing trials. It is estimated that 482,000 diesel cars under the Volkswagen and Audi names are affected in the matter. Consumer Reports said that it is suspending its “recommended” rating of the diesel versions of the Jetta and larger Passat sedans. Many car purchasers rely on the ratings in Consumer Reports when deciding which vehicles to buy. The recommendations will remain suspended until the recall repairs are completed and new tests can be performed. Volkswagen has been accused of installing software meant to evade federal emissions laws on some VW and Audi cars. When the cars are taken in for clean-air testing, the software code activates all of the car’s emissions systems. However, when testing is complete, some of those systems are turned off and the cars emit higher levels of pollutants. The EPA claimed that the cars then emitted nitrogen oxide at levels up to 40 times the level allowed by emission standards. The agency has ordered the company to fix the non-compliant vehicles. Volkswagen will recall the vehicles to make sure they meet emissions standards. Volkswagen said in an emailed statement that it is cooperating with the investigation and would be unable to comment further at this time. The models involved in the recall are the 2009 to 2014 Volkswagen Jetta, Beetle and Golf; the 2014 and 2015 Volkswagen Passat, and the 2009 to 2015 Audi A3. Volkswagen and Audi account for 17 of the 44 diesel-powered engine models available for the 2015 model...

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Pope Visit Sparks Hundreds Of Cuban Americans Traveling To Cuba
Sep19

Pope Visit Sparks Hundreds Of Cuban Americans Traveling To Cuba

Hundreds of Cuban Americans are finding ways to get to Cuba in time for the pope’s scheduled visit to the island nation. The groups include more than 150 pilgrims organized by the Archdiocese of Miami were traveling to Cuba for the visit, as well as a smaller, private group that left earlier from Washington. Miami International Airport saw long ticket lines on Friday and workers at the José Martí International Airport in Havana saw many scenes of travelers reuniting with their families. The pope’s visit to Cuba begins Saturday as he lands in Havana after a nearly 12-hour flight from Rome and is scheduled to last for four days. He is scheduled to celebrate Mass in the Plaza of the Revolution in Havana on Sunday. Cuban leader Raul Castro was baptized as a Catholic and educated by Jesuits. Earlier this year, Raul Castro reportedly told the Jesuit Francis that he might start praying again and return to the Church. A couple of the travelers claimed that they had traveled to Miami from the suburbs of Los Angeles for an afternoon flight to Santiago, Cuba’s second-largest city. They said it was their first visit to their homeland in nearly 50 years. Pope Francis is scheduled to be in Santiago on Monday to visit the Santiago Cathedral parish and celebrate Mass on Tuesday in the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity just outside Santiago in El Cobre. Many of the people traveling to Cuba to see the pope say that they admire his concern for the common people, his inherent understanding of Latin America, and his diplomacy skills. Pope Francis is the first pope from Latin America. This will be the third papal visit to the Caribbean island in less than two decades, after Pope John Paul II visited in 1998 and Pope Benedict visited in...

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