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The Wall Street Journal reports that the peanut industry is hitting the streets and the stores to try to convince consumers that peanuts are safe to eat – hardly the easiest task after months of headlines related to the salmonella outbreak connected to peanut products traced to Peanut Corp. of America (PCA). That outbreak has thus far sickened close to 700 people and caused the deaths of nine, and forced the recall of more than 3,000 products.

The new marketing effort is taking place in store aisles and in places like Grand Central Station in New York City, where both samples and reassurances are being handed out. And companies like JM Smucker and ConAgra, which make Jif and Peter Pan peanut butter respectively, are reassuring customers about the safety of their products in advertising.

USA Today, by the way, reports that the recent bankruptcy filing by PCA included nearly $11.4 million in assets and debts of $4.8 million…but no insurance to compensate consumer claims against the company related to the salmonella outbreak and charges of negligence.

There is insurance money to pay to businesses that bought products from PCA and had to recall them, the story notes, but not the victims of the outbreak.

PCA does have personal injury insurance that could be used to cover consumer claims, the paper notes…but the insurer, Hartford Casualty, reportedly is arguing that it ought not have to pay out on the policy since the claims emanate from PCA’s deliberate negligence.

KC's View:
This is unbelievable. Or completely believable, considering the apparent lack of a moral and ethical compass at PCA headquarters.