Peanut Corp Execs Refuse to Testify to Congress

Plead the Fifth, decline to eat their products
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2009 1:51 PM CST
Peanut Corp Execs Refuse to Testify to Congress
The Peanut Corp. of America plant is seen on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009, in Blakely, Ga.    (AP Photo/Elliott Minor)

Peanut Corp execs had little to say today to a congressional panel curious about the salmonella outbreak that sickened 600 people, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Invoking the Fifth Amendment, PCA president Stewart Parnell and plant manager Sammy Lightsey refused to answer any questions—including on whether they would be willing to eat their own peanut butter.

Emails released as evidence by the House today include one in which Lightsey informed Parnell of positive salmonella tests in the Georgia facility. Parnell, concerned with "$$$$$", nonetheless instructed Lightsey to “turn them loose.” Earlier in the House hearing, family members testified of their loved ones who had died from eating Peanut Corp’s products; Parnell and Lightsey declined to be present during that testimony.
(More salmonella stories.)

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