FDA bonuses rise
FDA bonuses exceeding $4,000 increased by an estimated $8 million in 2007 over 2006 figures, according to data released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The agency's highest-paid officials received many of the retention bonuses, which totaled $35 million last year. "These back-scratching bonuses could be used to hire inspectors that might have gone to China and uncovered the unsafe manufacturing practices that led to the heparin deaths," said Committee Chair John Dingell, D-Mich. Such outcries, which also followed the announcement of FDA bonus figures last year, are drawing more scrutiny as the agency calls for additional funds to keep pace with scientific advancements (1"The Pink Sheet," July 23, 2007, In Brief)
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FDA employees received $9.5 million in retention bonuses last year, leaving Congress asking why as much was spent on retention as on increased food safety oversight. At a July 17 House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing, Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., also notes that employees in the commissioner's office "collected more than 30 percent of all the top FDA cash awards in 2004, 2005 and 2006; and the Office of Regulatory Affairs only received 19 percent of all FDA's top cash awards, yet has 35 percent of all FDA employees"...
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