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Prosecutor: Plant owner OK'd tainted peanut sales

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Courtesy: USDA Courtesy: USDA
Associated Press

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) - Prosecutors say the owner of a Georgia peanut plant linked to a deadly salmonella outbreak knowingly approved shipments of tainted food "whatever the risk."

Jurors heard four hours of closing arguments Thursday from prosecutors in the federal trial of former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell and two others charged with covering up lab tests that found salmonella in peanuts and peanut butter. The company's products are blamed for killing nine Americans and making 714 others sick in 2008 and 2009.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Dasher told jurors Parnell's guiding principle was "just ship it" - a phrase he used in a 2007 email telling subordinates not to wait on salmonella tests.

Court adjourned after the prosecution finished Thursday. Defense attorneys will begin their closings Friday morning.

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