Two programming notes: Many entrepreneurs apply to be featured on those segments when I speak with start-up business owners who have less than five years operating. It is fun radio and great free publicity for the start-ups. If you are one of thios businesses, my pal Tim Cook, has offered to keep track of the requests and help book the segments, so please send the notes on your business and contact information to Tim if you would like to be on one of those segments via firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Tim Cook.
Now, about the peanut butter. Yesterday I covered a story on Sunland, Inc, a peanut butter producer in New Mexico which has been shut down by the FDA. The background is here. My law partner Janet Hickson, a consumer products recall specialist and products liability litigator, filled in some of the details of the story with an emphasis on the unprecedented nature of the FDA’s actions. The full list of the products recalled by the company and/or FDA is here. The FDA’s updates on the issue are here. More than 240 products have been recalled as a result of this investigation. (Janet represents the manufacturer of one of the products that has to be recalled because of the Sunland shut-down, and the consequences for such down stream manufacturers can be very expensive and even devastating, so recalls are usually poorly reported by MSM and little understooid by the public.)
Recalls are not unusual, but the FDA’s shut-down of Sunland is unprecedented because it is the first use of the FDA’s new authorities under the Food Safety Modernization Act (“FSMA”). Follow the story closely. Obviously no one wants tainted food products on the shelves, but the layoffs and consequences of such a shutdown and massive recalls are enormous and desreve scrutiny as well as the FDA’s full responsiveness. The precedent is also one that all manufacturers have to watch closely. If the FDA can completely shut down Sunland, the questions are what other businesses can be shut down, under what other circumstances and for how long?