Peanut firm’s chief an adviser
Source of Article: http://www.ajc.com/services/content/printedition/2009/02/01/parnell0201.html
Sunday, February 01, 2009
The president of the peanut company linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak serves on an industry advisory board that helps the U.S. Department of Agriculture set quality standards for peanuts.
Stewart Parnell, president of Peanut Corp. of
The all-volunteer board isn’t directly involved with food-safety issues. Its main duties are to advise the USDA on how to grade and classify peanuts after they come out of the field —- setting the sizes for jumbo vs. medium peanuts, for instance, or standards on how much moisture they should contain before they’re allowed on store shelves.
The board also is charged with helping set “quality and handling standards” for domestic and imported peanuts.
Created by the 2002 Farm Bill that provides federal subsidies to farmers, the board advises the secretary of the USDA on “standards intended to assure that satisfactory quality and wholesome peanuts are used in the domestic and import peanut markets,” according to the USDA.
A USDA spokesman said no one was available Friday to provide more details on the board or its members.
Ben Smith, a member of the Peanut Standards Board who
also is manager of peanut operations for snack foods maker Lance Inc. in
“We deal primarily with the agricultural aspect of peanuts,” he said.
Peanut Corp. of
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