The Salmonella Smoking Gun

His products have killed eight people and sickened 550 more, but peanut baron Stew Parnell isn't giving any explanations, invoking his Fifth Amendment right to silence yesterday at a Congressional hearing on the incident. He also skipped an earlier panel, which heard grieving relatives of victims of the tainted products. E-mails released by House investigators showed Parnell casually dismissing salmonella outbreaks as a routine problem at his plants. "I go thru this about once a week... I will hold my breath... again," he wrote last June in response to news of a positive test for the bacteria. Further e-mails showed Parnell angrily complaining that delays from positive salmonella tests were costing him, quote, "huge $$$$$." Parnell later said in January, after the outbreak began, that his company had never found any salmonella at all.