FDA cited Peanut Corp. in 1990 for toxin problem
Source of Article: http://www.newsadvance.com/lna/news/local/article/fda_cited_peanut_corp._in_1990_for_toxin_problem/13074/
By Bryan Gentry
Round-up - Your one-stop source for news from around the Web about the
salmonella outbreak linked to Lynchburg-based Peanut Corporation of
Now called the source of a nationwide salmonella outbreak, Peanut
According to documents filed in Bedford County Circuit Court, the Food and
Drug Administration cited PCA in 1990 for ship-ping peanut products
containing aflatoxins. The finding resulted in a
recall and at least one lawsuit against PCA, which is headquartered in a
According to the FDA’s Web site, aflatoxins are toxic compounds produced by a mold that can grow on food. They have been found in peanuts, corn and other foods. Aflatoxins rarely are found in strong enough concentrations to sicken humans, the Web site said.
In 1990 the FDA sent a letter to Hugh Parnell Sr., the founder of PCA and president at the time.
The letter stated that “Ongoing investigations and sample analyses … have revealed you are responsible for distributing significant quantities of peanut products containing unacceptable levels of aflatoxins, posing a potential risk to public health.”
The letter also said, “We note you have been warned previously concerning the use of aflatoxin-contaminated products.”
The company recalled its products that had been shipped from its
In January 1992, one of PCA’s customers filed
After PCA notified Bunte Candy that the peanut butter might contain aflatoxins, Bunte had some of its candy tested, finding an aflatoxin concentration of one part per billion.
According to the FDA’s Web site, aflatoxin concentrations below 20 parts per billion are allowed in peanut products intended for humans, but food producers are not allowed to dilute products with aflatoxins by mixing them with other foods.
American Candy Company, which owned Bunte, sued PCA for $200,000 because its inventory of candy was lost, and other related costs. The lawsuit claimed that PCA had falsely stated that the peanut butter it provided was free of aflatoxins.
PCA said an
In 1993 PCA settled the suit with American Candy for $90,000, according to
the lawsuit documents. PCA’s claim that Nutra Nut was responsible for the aflatoxins
was later dismissed from the Bedford County Circuit Court as that claim was
being handled in an
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