Blakely shows their peanut pride - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Blakely shows their peanut pride

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By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

BLAKELY, GA (WALB) - It's a staple in American culture. "It's hard to imagine an America without a peanut butter and jelly sandwich," said Congressman, Sanford Bishop.

But it has also been the source of scrutiny since tainted shipments were mapped back to the peanut corporation of america plant in Blakely.

"It's unfortunate. They have such a small percentage in regards to the peanut industry. They have done a great deal of damage to consumer confidence, but we are not going to let that hold us back," said Bishop.

"The PCA incident, it is what it is, but we are here to celebrate peanuts and the fact that they are great for not only South Georgia, but for the rest of the country," said Golden Peanut Regional Manager, Joe Campbell.

But State leaders say it is because of this crisis that they continue their bi-partisan efforts to improve food safety in America. "We are going to move forward in the future with a safer and higher quality product," said Bishop.

They continue to look into possible changes this situation has shown is necessary with the Federal Drug Administration.

"The fact that it was peanuts this year, tomatoes last year, it was peppers the year before. I don't know yet if it will remain in the FDA, whether it will be moved to USDA. Or if another agency will be created," said Georgia Senator, Saxby Chambliss.

But as children snacked on roasted peanuts and adults munched on peanut butter sandwiches, the community at the source of scandal came together to rally around their number one crop.

"We just want to continue to be strong and keep a viable industry going," said Campbell.

"It is one of my favorites, has been since I was a child. And I suspect that I will be eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the rest of my life," said Bishop. They hope the peanut pride among the 5,700 who reside in Blakely spread across the rest of the country.


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