More FDA Prosecutions of Food Business Corporate Officials

Northwest Food Processors Association

The FDA signaled that more criminal prosecutions of corporate officials for FDA-related offenses may be on the way.

Commissioner of Food and Drugs Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg March 4 said that the FDA was acting in response to an internal committee’s recommendation that the “appropriate” use of misdemeanor prosecutions be increased “to hold responsible corporate officials accountable.” Hamburg called such misdemeanor prosecutions “a valuable enforcement tool.”  According to Hamburg, the FDA has developed criteria to be considered in the agency’s selection of misdemeanor prosecution cases. She said that the criteria “will be incorporated into the revised policies and procedures that cover appropriate use of misdemeanor prosecutions.”

Hamburg revealed the actions in a letter to Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, that also responded to the findings of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released the same day. The report examined the FDA’s oversight of its Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI).

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