An Avoidable Death: How Food-Safety Inspections Could Have Saved Lives

Two brothers tell the story of how their mother died from eating peanut butter, all from a lack of food-safety inspections.

The following a transcript of the video.

Randy Napier: We have to protect the people of America, not the corporations.

Jeff Napier: When it comes to food safety, water safety, air pollution—I mean, you have to have those resources; you have to be able to get in there, get the job done.

Randy: My mother, Dollie Napier, I'd like to tell you who she was. She raised six kids on her own; my father left when I was six years old. She worked very hard at a factory, she was barely making $2 an hour, it was very hard times, but she did it.

We celebrated her 80th birthday in December 22, 2008, and she was full of life, laughing, playing with the grandkids. Two weeks later, we get a phone call that she's on the way to the hospital.

Jeff: They started talking about how she's got this Salmonella poisoning.

Randy: And they had determined that it was from peanut butter. All of us spent night and day, by her side, until she took her last breath.

I finally got some information that there was a company down in Berkeley, Georgia, Peanut Corp. of America, had produced some tainted peanut butter. Mom was the ninth victim. There was nine people that died, my mother was the last one until they finally got this stuff off the shelves.

We've got video of the plant that this peanut butter was made in, and it had holes in the roof right over the production line, where every time it rained, the bird feces would come right down inside the plant.

Jeff: Right into the vats. It's ridiculous, yeah.

Randy: This was because they didn't want to put money into the plant, and they didn't have to worry about inspections because they weren't getting inspections.

Jeff: The most shocking thing is that we did not have the people out there watching our back.

Randy: For Congress, or the Senate, to try to put bills through that will stall, or make it more difficult to protect the people, I mean, not just to protect me, to protect everyone, and without regulations we cannot do that.

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