If the Drown-The-Baby-in-the Bathtub Republicans ever get their way1, the federal regulatory infrastructure would get stripped, and there would be a lot more deaths from tainted food. The current system of food inspection is pretty corrupt, but least there is some restraint, and occasionally a corporation will commit such a heinous act that they will get sanctioned. Like SK Foods, and their buddies, Kraft, Safeway, and others:
Robert Watson, a top ingredient buyer for Kraft Foods, needed $20,000 to pay his taxes. So he called a broker for a California tomato processor that for years had been paying him bribes to get its products into Kraft’s plants.
The check would soon be in the mail, the broker promised. “We’ll have to deduct it out of your commissions as we move forward,” he said, using a euphemism for bribes.
Days later, federal agents descended on Kraft’s offices near Chicago and confronted Mr. Watson. He admitted his role in a bribery scheme that has laid bare a startling vein of corruption in the food industry. And because the scheme also involved millions of pounds of tomato products with high levels of mold or other defects, the case has raised serious questions about how well food manufacturers safeguard the quality of their ingredients.
Over the last 14 months, Mr. Watson and three other purchasing managers, at Frito-Lay, Safeway and B&G Foods, have pleaded guilty to taking bribes. Five people connected to one of the nation’s largest tomato processors, SK Foods, have also admitted taking part in the scheme
[Click to continue reading SK Foods at Center of Bribe Scheme to Sell Tainted Tomatoes – NYTimes.com]
Food corporations claim innocence, but I assume there was a lot of winkin’ and noddin’ going on, just no hard evidence.Footnotes: