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Back in high school, I used to have to ask the teacher for permission to use the restroom.  In English class, I also had to be sure to begin my request with "may I", rather than "can I"...otherwise, I'd be running the risk of the "I don't know, can you?" reply.  The New York Times reports tonight that, much like a student in class, FDA required permission from Peanut Corporation of America before they were allowed to publish their expanded recall last week.

That probably doesn't come as a surprise to many of us here, but I couldn't let this article slip by without comment -

Even though federal health officials have begun a criminal investigation into whether the Peanut Corporation of America deliberately sold contaminated products, the government still needed the company’s permission last week before announcing a huge recall of its products.

Crossposted from La Vida Locavore, more below the fold...

Now this takes us on to the corporate personhood debate.  Regardless of where anyone stands on this issue, which goes back to a misinterpreted Supreme Court ruling from the 19th Century; I don't think anybody can present an honest case that things on this front don't need to change, and change now.  Not only are corporations currently afforded rights as living beings that they don't deserve, but they're also given rights by law way above and beyond that which any actual citizen enjoys.

I don't recall the last time that an individual who killed at least 8 people and sickened thousands was asked for permission by the authorities to publicize his crimes, let alone having the right of said authorities being required to ask him permission before they would be allowed to take action that could prevent further harm from being done to the population at risk.  Which in this case, would of course be any American who shops for food at mainstream grocery stores...

Beyond that, we obviously need serious reform in our food safety system now so that FDA actually has the power to immediately take action itself when the public health is clearly in danger.

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) has been great on this issue, as has Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL).  A quote from Rep. DeLauro in that New York Times article -

"They can’t even get a press release out on this stuff without industry approval. It’s just unbelievable," said Ms. DeLauro, who promised to offer legislation on Wednesday that would split the agency’s food oversight into a separate entity with mandatory recall authority and other powers.

Earlier today, President Obama promised a "complete review of F.D.A. operations."  Let's hope we see that very soon.

The latest peanut butter recall news can be found here, and the current list of recalled products is also available at the FDA's site.

Originally posted to Hardhat Democrat on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 10:15 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Now THAT'S news: (17+ / 0-)

    The agency responsible for overseeing food safety has to ask permission before it can, like, oversee food safety?

    And yet, a few years ago when a beef company in (iirc) Kansas, which exported a lot of beef to Japan, wanted to at its own expense use the test the Japanese government requires to guard against mad cow disease, the U.S. government said "No Way."

    grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    GOP: Turning the U.S. into a banana republic since 1980

    by Youffraita on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 10:25:13 PM PST

  •  The FDA knew there were serious problems with (9+ / 0-)

    this company. If there was bribery involved, there should be life time jail sentences for any Federal employee caught.

    •  Agreed... (12+ / 0-)

      I don't know if it was as much about bribery on the part of government agents though, as it was about the culture of "Deregulation" that has been the rule since the Reagan administration began destroying America almost 30 years ago...

      "it's time for consumers to turn into citizens" - RiaD

      by Hardhat Democrat on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 10:29:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was the state inspectors, though (10+ / 0-)

        who kept flunking the plant, wasn't it?  Why weren't they allowed to just shut it down years ago?

        I don't know about Georgia state law, but here, the state can shut you down for egregious & repeated violations of the health code.

        GOP: Turning the U.S. into a banana republic since 1980

        by Youffraita on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 10:39:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, it was... (8+ / 0-)

          It was the state, operating under contract with the feds.

          I read through the entire collection of those inspection reports from Georgia's Ag Dept (available online in pdf form here at Bill Marler's blog, and here's a summary of my observations based upon reading those -

          Georgia's inspectors must have seen a clear pattern of noncompliance at the plant, yet they only appear to have pulled 3 product samples and on only one date, right in the middle of the same period that PCA's own tests were showing products testing positive for salmonella; and even as they were lab shopping for results that would allow them to sell products they knew were contaminated, they were NOT required by law to inform FDA, the state or any other agency about the positive tests they had found in their own products going back for more than a year.

          I can tell you I've never worked anywhere that even came CLOSE to the instances of noncompliance noted on those reports (2 or 3 minor ones during any given inspection would have been enough to get heads rolling (!) in places I've worked; this PCA plant was averaging about 6 during each inspection towards the end...); and it appears that all Georgia's inspectors were doing was going back to the same QC guy at the plant, who 'promised to remedy the problem immmediately'.  What's also interesting, is that on at least one of those Ga. Ag Dept. reports, they even quoted the QC guy in blaming maintenance staff and production employees despite the fact that ANYBODY could have figured out by then that the problem was obviously systemic in the plant from top-down, let alone the government inspectors who are supposed to be protecting the public health.

          The problem was, Georgia's inspectors weren't technically finding anything (maybe because they weren't bothering to look close enough?) that would have allowed them to shut the plant.  And like you said, I'm not even sure if they had the authority to do so...

          "it's time for consumers to turn into citizens" - RiaD

          by Hardhat Democrat on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 10:54:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  IN-SANE! (6+ / 0-)

            My last job was in a small company raising plants at the wholesale level (retailers buy the flats, pot 'em & grow 'em up for sale to homeowners etc.).  We not only got inspected every two weeks for bugs on the plants being shipped to California & Canada but the whole greenhouse area was inspected twice a year.  And the inspectors came back to make sure all problems were fixed.  We could have been shut down at any time simply for a door being open that should not have been.

            Most of these plants were ornamentals.  Canada & California are very stringent about invasive insects, and so if any insects were found, the plants had to be sprayed under the inspector's supervision.

            How can ornamental plants be so well-policed, and food that people eat be, essentially, waved on through the security clearance with bombs in its shoes?

            GOP: Turning the U.S. into a banana republic since 1980

            by Youffraita on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 11:09:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Heh, I'm familiar with that... (7+ / 0-)

              I worked for a Boeing contractor here in Portland this time last year - FAA used to regularly inspect us, unannounced; and if one of us even so much as sneezed in a way that made an inspector nervous, they could have shut our whole plant down in a second.

              If only we'd take food safety as seriously as we take aviation safety.  I'd say both are vital concerns...

              Re: invasive insects - the spread of same definitely could have a major impact on local food systems as well, and it's good to know they're policed in such a manner.

              Which of course goes back to our question as to why our food itself evidently isn't taken nearly as seriously?

              "it's time for consumers to turn into citizens" - RiaD

              by Hardhat Democrat on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 11:27:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, I totally agree about (5+ / 0-)

                invasive insects (gypsy moths, anyone?  Japanese beetles?).  I was glad they were so stringent.

                But yeah, it does seem like FOOD should be equally well-policed.

                GOP: Turning the U.S. into a banana republic since 1980

                by Youffraita on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 11:36:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  And the fight of the spread of the invasive (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hardhat Democrat, RiaD, BachFan

                species is also controversial. They've been trying to spray us with synthetic hormones in microcapsules to combat Light Brown Apple Moth, but the community resisted and now they have to use twist-ties. Obviously, invasive species are bad, but if I've learned anything, it's that we tend to over-compensate and make the problem even worse with our meddling. So I would study the problem to see if it really is a problem, and then try to use the least toxic method to dispose of the infestation, if possible.

                The modern news media draws half its power from coils placed around the spinning in Edward R. Murrow's grave.

                by aigeanta on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 11:47:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, totally agreed... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RiaD, Youffraita, aigeanta

                  Industrial methods of production were what led to widespread introduction of invasive species in the first place.  Those same methods cranked up in multitudes are definitely not the solution...

                  Toxic methods are never a sustainable solution.

                  "it's time for consumers to turn into citizens" - RiaD

                  by Hardhat Democrat on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 11:55:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Why, because there's money to be made (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hardhat Democrat

              in stiffarming the law. And because the fix was in to the appropriate officials wanting to Blagoy some nice luxuries to their investment accounts. And because the buy-them-off rule was the precise model set for major companies everywhere, and especially by the W administration.

              Smaller companies, however, could easily be and were singled out for inspections to meet prohibitive compliance protocols any minute failure in which would make a big splash in the news, in order to make it look like someone was regulating things closely.

        •  Metal shavings in product (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hardhat Democrat, RiaD, chrome327

          WTF!!!! We are becoming a third world country.

    •  On Keith tonight... (8+ / 0-)

      President of the salmonella peanut company sat on some Fed "Peanut Advisory" Board, appointed by BUSH. Is this board part of, or advising [read: pressuring], the FDA?

      My pick for FDA head is Howard Dean, b/c the disgusting corporate influence needs to be rooted out of every nook and cranny of that institution. Soup to nuts, so to speak.

      Sweet are the uses of adversity...Find tongues in the trees, books in the brooks, and good in everything. -Shakespeare, As You Like It.

      by earicicle on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 10:56:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  In China, they sentenced management of (11+ / 0-)

    the pervasive, melamine poisoning to death.

    To DEATH.

    I'm not advocating the death penalty, but we apparently have read more than a single report that this company has knowingly shipped tainted product.

    We find it sensational and rare for management and other decision-makers within a corporation to be dealt with by the state in a serious manner, I feel.  Going after Enron felt like the most significant denouement in recent history to many, I proffer.

    And yet, Enron should have been the start of an ongoing breakdown in corporate rights vs. governmental regulatory bodies, at the very least.  A wakeup call, rather than a final say.  Of course, we were treated to a short-sighted view of the problem as if only a few people in a specific company or two do this kind of thing to game the system at great expense of others, so we let it go in the traditional media.

    I don't want this to be China, but would have expected in a fair world that the PCA would have been locked down and invaded by government inspectors, with management placed under immediate investigation.

    But, then again, this is the FDA: they are an underfunded agency which often enables business interests, rather than acting as a regulatory and enforcement agency against business violations.  

    That "regulation" thing, again - where have I heard about that recently . . .

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 10:34:59 PM PST

    •  12 instances... (10+ / 0-)

      I'm not advocating the death penalty, but we apparently have read more than a single report that this company has knowingly shipped tainted product.

      That actually happened 12 times!  I wrote about that here, and here, amongst others...

      But yeah, the death penalty doesn't work, it isn't gonna bring anybody back and it isn't what we need.  

      Now, life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, on the other hand...

      Thankfully, a criminal investigation is currently under way re: PCA's actions.  And I think something actually will come of this.

      But I do have to wonder if that would have been the case had PCA been owned by Kraft or Cargill or Coca Cola, etc...

      "it's time for consumers to turn into citizens" - RiaD

      by Hardhat Democrat on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 10:42:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I almost think we would have (7+ / 0-)

        been better off, at least if it had been Kraft or Coca-Cola.  They are such large companies, with so many products, that (a) I suspect they would have been better at self-policing and (b) their lawyers would have known the kinds of lawsuits--and enormously bad publicity--that would ensue that (c) they would have been extremely careful about self-policing.

        Yes, I realize that's a circular argument.  But it's kind of like the severed finger in Wendy's chili: it never happened and the company still paid a huge price in terms of bad press.

        A little-known company that just supplied ingredients for larger, well-known name brands, OTOH, might actually think they can get away with this sort of thing.

        And it worked, didn't it?  For years...for them, and for the melamine-tainters in China, too.

        GOP: Turning the U.S. into a banana republic since 1980

        by Youffraita on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 10:50:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiaD, tecampbell, Youffraita

          We have to remember that Cargill was responsible for a recall of over one million pounds of ground beef just over a year ago, as well as ConAgra's massive Peter Pan peanut butter recall a few months prior to that.

          The "Big Boys" of the food industry have the same problems as the smaller ones, but only they seem to be untouchable by the law...

          "it's time for consumers to turn into citizens" - RiaD

          by Hardhat Democrat on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 11:14:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well...there's a reason (4+ / 0-)

            I didn't include Cargill in that comment.  They are NOT well-known in the way that Coca-Cola and Kraft are.  Cargill & ConAgra do not have their names blazened on their products.  And I think they are slimy, too.  I won't say Coke & Kraft haven't cut corners here & there...but they trumpet their products in a way Cargill does not.  And ConAgra is just the scum of the earth.

            GOP: Turning the U.S. into a banana republic since 1980

            by Youffraita on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 11:43:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And that's by design... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiaD, Gravedugger, Youffraita, chrome327

              Cargill & ConAgra do not have their names blazened on their products.

              They do it for a reason, and -

              they are slimy

              Exactly.

              Anybody who's spent a considerable amount of time along freight tracks (that's a discussion for another time, heh...) can tell you that their products are very ubiquitous in other ways, along with their ADM brethren...

              Re: Coke - consider their actions exploiting communities in India.  They may not be as blatant here, but they more than make up for it overseas...

              "it's time for consumers to turn into citizens" - RiaD

              by Hardhat Democrat on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 11:52:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Look, I'm no apologist for Coke & Kraft (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hardhat Democrat, RiaD

                I'm just saying they want to sell their products, and since they brag about their products, any scandal reflects badly on the whole corporation.

                This is a situation they want to avoid (& for sure their publicists and lawyers want to avoid: can you imagine the lawsuits?).

                Whereas Cargill & ConAgra hide the shit they pull...and are, IMHO of course, much worse for doing so.  Who knows what they have inflicted on the eating public, i.e., all of us?

                GOP: Turning the U.S. into a banana republic since 1980

                by Youffraita on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 11:57:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ack! (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RiaD, BachFan, Youffraita

                  I know you aren't, and I would never insinuate that you were.

                  Sorry Youff, you know I love you...

                  :)

                  "it's time for consumers to turn into citizens" - RiaD

                  by Hardhat Democrat on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 12:11:43 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No offense taken, HD! (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hardhat Democrat, RiaD

                    No, my point was simply about lawsuits & bad publicity.  "I don't care what they say about me as long as they spell my name right" only works for actors & artists & most politicians.

                    Doesn't work for megacorporations like Kraft & Coke.
                    Everybody's heard of them, everybody consumes some of their products.  Like Wendy's & McD's, they have more at risk if there's a food scandal connected with them.

                    That's all I was trying to say.  

                    GOP: Turning the U.S. into a banana republic since 1980

                    by Youffraita on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 12:29:08 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Reporting marks (5+ / 0-)

                Our rails give amazing insight into our food supply...

                I remember seeing a lot of trains in the west that were nothing but MLSX (Monsanto), ADMX (ADM), PRGX (Cargill), or LMWX (ConAgra). A lot of unit wheat as well...

                Bad paint jobs aside, the reporting marks legally have to be right. The companies can't obsfucate, though they never seem to anyway. I saw a surprising unit train of tank cars that said ADMX...I finally got a good enough look at the placard stencil to discern that they were carrying corn syrup. I realized that the train was probably carrying close to a million gallons of corn syrup (over 50 cars @ 18,000 gallons per).

                The food we eat...It never ceases to surprise me.

                Comments Signature: This will get attached to your comments.

                by Gravedugger on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 12:10:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  life imprisonment (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hardhat Democrat, RiaD, tecampbell

        being tainted food tasters? that might be justice.

        The modern news media draws half its power from coils placed around the spinning in Edward R. Murrow's grave.

        by aigeanta on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 10:56:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  i am hesitatingly going to try (6+ / 0-)

    frickin' lunch meat in my kids' lunches tomorrow morning.  since the almond butter failed the taste test, and i have serious doubts about the sunflower seed butter . . .

    i'm vegetarian for many reasons, and food safety was one of them.  

    i stopped beating my head long enough to write my ond, and go to the pharmacy and grocery store.  

    gosh i am hyper tonight.

    must.relax.soon

    "Gloom we always have with us . . . but joy requires tending." Barbara Holland

    by jlms qkw on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 10:49:38 PM PST

  •  The first solution is to fund the FDA (12+ / 0-)

    through the government, not through the food companies and drug companies. It's the only way to make them independent again. Second, perhaps we could ask the National Academy of Sciences to do a review of current FDA structure and suggest a set of regulations and recommendations to make them more independent and effective.

    "Everybody does better, when everybody does better" - Paul Wellstone 1997

    by yuriwho on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 10:52:52 PM PST

    •  Amen, amen, amen... (7+ / 0-)

      Corporate money means corporate influence. The two must be as separate as church and state. The same factors that have led to contaminated food on the market have tainted the drug approval process. Which means that devastating side effects [like, say, DEATH] crop up as Big Pharma flogs their latest FDA-approved billion-dollar babies on the TeeVee.

      yuriwho, I wish I could rec your comment a thousand times. And then skywrite it over the White House.

      Sweet are the uses of adversity...Find tongues in the trees, books in the brooks, and good in everything. -Shakespeare, As You Like It.

      by earicicle on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 11:04:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am glad to hear there are others (6+ / 0-)

        that understand the real issue here. We also need to make them independent of government influence. Perhaps we should set up a court of judges with lifetime appointments, perhaps 9 or 11 or 15, who would make final decisions on contested issues who cannot be influenced by an administration. We really need them to be independent and un-corruptible.

        "Everybody does better, when everybody does better" - Paul Wellstone 1997

        by yuriwho on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 11:13:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Independent & uncorruptible..." (5+ / 0-)

          Now can you see why I'm thinking Dr. Dean?

          Would love to hear more of your thoughts on this. Diary?

          Sweet are the uses of adversity...Find tongues in the trees, books in the brooks, and good in everything. -Shakespeare, As You Like It.

          by earicicle on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 11:17:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll think about doing a diary on the topic (4+ / 0-)

            but I'm kinda busy trying to set up a new business atm. I would not be offended in the least if one of you took the ball and ran with it. I consider any idea I write here as creative commons. Feel free to run with the ball.

            "Everybody does better, when everybody does better" - Paul Wellstone 1997

            by yuriwho on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 11:40:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was gone all day, yuriwho... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hardhat Democrat

              I'm ridiculously busy, too. Too busy to write a thoughtful, well researched diary on anything right now. But please come find me in the comments if/when you do post one, and I'll run right over and jump in.

              I'm passionate about FDA reform. In part b/c I personally suffered from an "undiscovered" side effect of a billion-dollar drug. Others DIED from this same side effect. Namely, children. Drug is still on the market, of course. I don't want to write about my personal experience. But I want this agency to CHANGE. So poorly regulated foods and drugs don't continue to KILL people.

              Sweet are the uses of adversity...Find tongues in the trees, books in the brooks, and good in everything. -Shakespeare, As You Like It.

              by earicicle on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 07:58:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Excellent idea! (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yuriwho, RiaD, tecampbell, Youffraita

          About that court proposal, I'll second earicicle's proposal for a diary on same.

          As to the food safety issue - I think many here do understand the real issue, but the problem is that America's had it shoved down our throats constantly (since like January 21, 1981) that companies are somehow capable of policing themselves.  They're not, and this is just the latest, and certainly nowhere near the first, example of that.

          And it also certainly doesn't help that the entire rest of the world is falling apart at the same time...

          Let's hope they're not allowed to get away with this while the headlines are largely focused elsewhere.

          "it's time for consumers to turn into citizens" - RiaD

          by Hardhat Democrat on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 11:35:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Have a mercury laden juice-box with your PB&J (4+ / 0-)

    Yummy!  Mercury poisoning and salmonella in one quick easy package!  Compliments of Archer-Daniels-Midland, global corporatization, NAFTA, etc.

    I am not a number...

    by pecosbob on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 10:59:29 PM PST

  •  Food is our root. (5+ / 0-)

    If the root is spoiled we die.

    Those who stand idly by and watch people die serve noone but themselves.

    There is a place reserved behind bars for them.

    The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

    by tecampbell on Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 11:41:19 PM PST

  •  i know this might sound off-point but (4+ / 0-)

    it comes down to these things, imo:

    accountability. values.

    it seems to me the only way to rectify the complete mess in which we find ourselves is to seek and insist upon accountability, from George W. Bush to Peanut Corp. As well as the guy who sells you a lemon (car-wise) to a house inspector who doesn't do his/her job and you end up buying a lemon (house-wise).

    because the accountability part would seem to enforce the things we value, no? and if we do NOT INSIST on the accounting, then why should anyone take seriously integrity. honesty. fairness. due diligence. why?

    these issues are not disparate. they are all connected. including teachers promoting kids who simply don't qualify.

    it's the whole shootin' match, pardner.

    "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

    by pfiore8 on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 12:23:45 AM PST

    •  Not off-point at all... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiaD, pfiore8, Youffraita

      Absolutely, let's demand accountability at all levels.

      BTW - hi, p!

      :)

      And what's with this -

      it's the whole shootin' match, pardner.

      Only one of us lives in the Wild West, "pardner"...

      ;-P

      "it's time for consumers to turn into citizens" - RiaD

      by Hardhat Democrat on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 12:48:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  dat waar! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hardhat Democrat, RiaD, Youffraita

        i even live more east now than i did in NY. . .

        pardner!

        (btw: dat waar = that true)

        "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

        by pfiore8 on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 01:23:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiaD, pfiore8

          Always great to learn new things!

          The furthest "East" I've ever been was a few steps off the Jersey Shore in Keansburg, Asbury, Belmar, Wildwood, etc...

          But back when I lived in Jersey, I used to regularly travel to Boston (home of many relatives) too.  But I never did do the water back there, heh...

          :)

          If I ever do make it out your way for a few days, have you thought of a coffee shop meet-up spot yet?

          "it's time for consumers to turn into citizens" - RiaD

          by Hardhat Democrat on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 01:49:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  in amsterdam (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hardhat Democrat, RiaD

            right on the same street as the palace, i believe there's a very nice coffee shop . . . very out-door-cafe_ish.

            with everyone, from teenagers to grannies, lighting up. oh. and drinking koffie, of course.

            and we'll certainly put you up for a long weekend . . . it will help with the travel budget. and we'll feed you dinner too!

            "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

            by pfiore8 on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 01:52:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sounds great! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiaD, pfiore8

              Last time I smoked was 4-20-2007 (easy date to remember, heh); but of course, last time I drank coffee was just a few hours ago...

              Great combination!

              Do you remember that old "NJ & You, Perfect Together" ad?  I think there were even bumper stickers for that...

              :)

              And they were right in some ways.  I'm thinking I-80 from Pennsy into Jersey, over the Delaware Water Gap.  You remember that drive?  Natural beauty at its finest...

              Anyways.

              Dinner sounds great!  What would it be out your way?

              "it's time for consumers to turn into citizens" - RiaD

              by Hardhat Democrat on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 02:00:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  yeah. i remember the drive (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hardhat Democrat, RiaD

                but i used to come from NY down Garden State and exit onto Route 80 to Route 287 (before it was finished all the way to the NYS Thruway).

                anyway. Rt 80. a tough tough road. lots of traffic, steady curve in the road, and i hated it.

                except going towards the water gap. did you ever go to the wolf preserve just over the bridge, i think. i had a great day there with my nephews, when they were still little kids.

                dinner in Leiden. what would it be? not so different from normal american food, i'd say. the yogurt is better here. i like the way they roast coffee. steak is better in USA. but for the rest? not so different.

                we would perhaps start with cod, sauted in butter and lightly floured, over italian greens with a nice balsamic. then main dish? for you, stir fried veggies with pasta and ej's lettuce, cuke, apple, and orange slice salad. oh. and bread and better.

                also, we'd make you ej's onion soup, to be eaten with loaves and loaves of french bread. and start with portabello mushrooms over risotto (to die for).

                then perhaps we'd let you cook a meal. because, by this time, we'd run out of veggie meal ideas.

                "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

                by pfiore8 on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 02:13:11 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Up against the wall Republican MFers!!!!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hardhat Democrat, RiaD, veggilib

    Just imagine what the Chinese Communists would do to food company execs who hid lethal aspects of their product. These corporate criminals would be strung up by now in China.

  •  PCA also ran a plant in Texas?!?!?! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hardhat Democrat

    and to make matters even worse...the Texas plant was operating unlicensed and uninspected for years!!  it wasnt until the salmonella outbreak was found out that spurred the FDA to further investigate and find out about the Texas plant. AP story can be found here
    this is absolute bullshit!  imo, the FDA is just as much to blame for this!

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