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FROM THIS EPISODE

In the latest salmonella scare, contaminated peanuts have been linked to deaths and illness, and have landed owners of a peanut-processing plant in front of a House subcommittee. Since 2002, there've been more than half a dozen bacteria-related food contaminations. Guest host Sara Terry explores the vulnerability of the nation's food supply. Also, Commerce Secretary-nominee Gregg pulls out, eroding President Obama's efforts of bipartisanship, and when satellites collide it makes a big mess in space. Wednesday's unprecedented crash has sent out hundreds of chunks of debris that could hit other satellites in orbit.


Banner image: Chairman Bart Stupak (D-MI) (L) watches as Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR)(R) holds up a jar of candy peanut products while questioning Stewart Parnell, owner and president of the Peanut Corporation of America who refused to answer questions during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Capitol Hill February 11, 2009 in Washington, DC. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Making News Gregg Pulls Out, Eroding Obama's Efforts of Bipartisanship 5 MIN, 44 SEC

Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire dealt the Obama Administration a blow on Thursday when he abruptly withdrew as the President's nominee for Commerce Secretary. A fiscal conservative, the Republican Senator said it would be “very difficult, day in and day out,” to serve in an Obama cabinet. Reporter Michael Kranish is covering the story for the Boston Globe.

Guests:
Michael Kranish, Boston Globe (@globekranish)

Main Topic This Time It's Peanuts: Food Scares and Food Production 34 MIN, 39 SEC

In the largest food recall in US history, more than eighteen hundred products containing peanuts have been pulled from grocery shelves. A salmonella contamination in peanuts has been linked to nine deaths and six hundred illnesses. The outbreak is the latest in a long line of food scares. What went wrong at the Georgia processing plant that shipped peanuts that the owner knew were contaminated? Is the Food and Drug Administration doing enough to make sure food is safe? How do laws affect what we eat? Does the system itself need to be overhauled?

Guests:
Gardiner Harris, New York Times
Caroline Smith DeWaal, Food Safety Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest
Marion Nestle, New York University (@marionnestle)
Joel Salatin, Polyface Farms
Brian Halweil, Senior Researcher, Worldwatch Institute

Food Politics

Marion Nestle

Reporter's Notebook Satellites' Collision Creates More Orbiting Space Debris 7 MIN, 55 SEC

On Wednesday, a Russian and American satellite in space ran into each other head on. Both weighed more than half a ton and were traveling at 17,500 miles an hour. It was the first time there’s been such a collision, which sent hundreds of pieces of debris into space, and possibly into the orbit of other spacecraft, including the Hubble telescope. Astronomer Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is an analyst of the space program.

Guests:
Jonathan McDowell, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (@planet4589)

Eat Here

Brian Halweil

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