FDA surveillance operation draws criticism from lawmakers

FDA surveillance operation draws criticism from lawmakers


July 15, 2012

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Food and Drug Administration’s secret monitoring of its staff raised hackles in Congress on Sunday after lawmakers learned their own offices were apparently targeted by the surveillance operation.

Six current and former FDA scientists and doctors filed a lawsuit in January claiming the agency tried to repress warnings about potential corruption in device reviews.

Documents detailing the surveillance operation suggest it was large-scale and that the FDA kept a list of targets including lawmakers and their aides, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

“It is absolutely unacceptable for the FDA to be spying on employees who reach out to members of Congress to expose abuses or wrongdoing in government agencies,” said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.

Van Hollen, who is a member of the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives, was named in the documents as a target, the paper reported.

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