Social authoritarians love big government and lots of regulations - they also tend to love organic food.

Now they have met.  The FDA, acting under broad new authority granted by President Obama in 2011, has closed the Sunland, Inc. peanut butter plant in eastern New Mexico - and left it closed.

It's hard to find fault with some caution, the salmonella outbreak sickened 41 people in 20 states who ate Trader Joe's peanut butter. The FDA said its inspectors found samples of salmonella in 28 different locations in the plant, in 13 nut butter samples and in one sample of raw peanuts. They also said inspectors found improper handling of the products, unclean equipment and uncovered trailers of peanuts outside the facility that were exposed to rain and birds. 

But there is no way to know how solid the evidence is because the FDA can just shut them down now and never show the evidence. The FDA claims it did so because of repeated violations over the last 5 years but the company had never been notified of any past violations. And the FDA won't clarify anything because it is an 'ongoing investigation'..

Portales, the city nearby, has about 20,000 residents and peanuts are the big employer. It's a $60 million industry in the region. The area's sweet Valencia peanuts are prized by organic buyers and Sunland is the nation's largest organic peanut butter plant. 

As unsurprising as it is to have the myth of organic food punctured once again, the FDA has been granted sweeping powers that require no accountability.  No one who cares about freedom and due process can applaud this.

Millions of pounds of peanuts sit in barns after FDA closes plant in New Mexico town by Jeri Clausing , Associated Press