33MD for February 11, 2009

POSTED: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 7:24pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:57pm

We continue tracking the peanut butter salmonella outbreak. Two officials from the Peanut Corporation of American took the fifth today. This after lawmakers heard about the deaths of two seniors and a child, who unknowingly ate those contaminated products.

Clifford Tousignant survived the Korean War and Shirley Almer beat cancer twice, but they both died from eating peanut butter. The Hurley family was lucky, three-year-old Jacob got sick and he’s okay today. His dad told Congress he can’t understand how Peanut Corporation of America released products after getting positive salmonella tests 12 times. “It sickens me. They could let it go out the door. Does no one have a conscience anymore?”

E-mails show company president Stewart Parnell was concerned that holding onto those products was costing him money. He ordered the plant manger to quote “turn them loose.” Today, they both took the fifth.

Parnell has denied allegations of “lab-shopping,” retesting to get a negative result. The FDA’s under fire too, for turning over responsibility for inspections to the State of Georgia. The FDA admitted today, it should have made sure Georgia followed up.

Congress may share some of the blame. FDA’s short on inspectors and there’s no law requiring companies to turn over their own, internal test results.

Pregnant belly dancing is the latest craze in the Philippines. Proponents say belly dancing helps expectant mothers strengthen their abdominal muscles, making childbirth easier. Jumping and jarring movements are not recommended. Doctors consider dancing exercises during pregnancy safe, as long as women aren’t straining themselves.