But why is it rare? I suppose because it is difficult to assess blame so often. But not here. The CEO was seen to say things like “this testing is killing us” etc … and at one point “just ship it!”
It’s a scary indictment of the food industry’s worst apples (and there are probably a lot more out there who forget that safety of the population must trump their personal wealth) …
The final paragraph in this article (but read it anyway, as there are also links all over the place) …
If you care about food safety, this is an important case to watch. First, because the existence of the case is so unusual; second, because (according to the indictment), the behavior that prompted it was so egregious. As presented by the feds, this was not accidental contamination, or sales of a product in which contamination could not have been controlled. It was, in their 52-page telling, deliberate and repeated, and apparently indifferent to the harm it might cause. If behavior such as they describe can’t be called to account, it would be worth asking why we have food-safety laws at all.
The reason I isolated this comment is to point out the blindingly obvious (which is my style :-) -- that this greed-based problem is not just in the food industry. It is in every industry … auto manufacturing, finance, and so on. When the auto industry screws up, people die. But when the food industry screws up, a whole lot more people get sick or die.
The latter absolutely must be prosecuted when shown to be deliberate, as the outbreak documented in this story so clearly was. The former should be prosecuted too, but I’m not sure that we have seen many truly deliberate acts like this on in that industry. Stupid designs are not necessarily a crime. But not fixing them in a timely fashion should be (remember the Pinto?)
A lot of people got hurt by the Enron fiasco and such-like … another egregious act fueled by unadulterated greed. Entire retirement savings accounts were wiped out as those executives padded their own accounts. These people were also prosecuted, and at least some of them got most of what they deserved from the stories I have read about it.
And so we arrive at the great financial meltdown in the USA, where so many people got rich screwing so many others. Wall Street acting like spoiled children while the world teetered on the brink of total financial ruin (and some serious potential chaos.)
And who got prosecuted? No one as far as I know … well, maybe one mid-level fall guy. But really … no one. They not only skated on the obvious willful negligence involved, they padded their accounts further as the US government handed out buckets of tax-payer cash. The tax-payers and the financial rip-off artists both double dipped … just in reverse of one another. Givers and takers … the circle of life.
That fiasco deserves a comeuppance of gargantuan proportions and we can only hope that the bad karma that accrued to all those criminals will come to pass in glorious “Final Destination” style :-)
Yeah, that was over the top … so sue me. No … sue them …