Ah, The Glories of Private Enterprise!

Seems the entrepreneurs who own the Peanut Corporation of America have long been running a “plant linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak that has killed eight people and sickened more than 500. Turns out these investors also “knew on at least 12 occasions over the past two years that its product was contaminated but sold it anyway.”

Seems the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s scandalously understaffed and underfunded inspection teams finally got around to inspecting the PCA plant in question, and, upon actual examination, have found it to be “not constructed in such a manner as to allow ceilings to to be kept in good repair.”

So, here’s another easy and obvious litmus test for Obama: Mr. President, even if you’re unwilling to start opening public factories to make basic products like peanut butter in modern buildings with maximum product safety, rich-country labor standards, and minimum marketing costs, are you at least going to correct the Reagan Revolution’s long-standing near-ban on the federal inspection of private businesses?

Alas, none other than The New York Times says: “Don’t hold your breath.”

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