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FDA enforcement declines – House report

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

FDA enforcement of food and drug laws declined "dramatically" between 2000 and 2005, and FDA officials "routinely reject the enforcement recommendations of career field staff," according to a report released by the Democratic staff of the House Government Reform Committee June 26. The report was requested by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). The number of warning letters sent by the agency for violations decreased in all FDA centers by an average of over 50%, from 1,154 issued in 2000 to 535 in 2005, the report states. Warning letters for the Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition declined 45%. Additionally, the number of products seized by the agency for being defective, mislabeled or dangerous dropped 44%, the study finds. The decrease in enforcement actions does not indicate a reduction in violations; the number of violations reported by FDA field agents has remained relatively constant, the report maintains. Waxman, CSPI and Public Citizen held a joint news conference on FDA's "failings" June 27....

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