Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Lester Crawford is the former commissioner of the FDA. He will plead guilty to federal charges of failing to disclose owning shares in companies regulated by the agency.

The charges against Crawford included filing a false document and violating federal conflict-of-interest laws. Crawford may face as much as six months of jail or house arrest and a fine of $50,000.

Government investigators have been probing Crawford's financial dealings since he stepped down as FDA commissioner in 2005 a little more than two months after his Senate confirmation. He stated in 2004 that shares of Sysco Corp. and Kimberly-Clark Corp. had been sold when he and his wife continued to hold them, and he failed to disclose income from Embrex Inc. stock options, U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor said in a court filing.

Crawford, who was acting or deputy FDA commissioner for more than three years, also served as chairman of the FDA's Obesity Working Group in 2003 and 2004 while owning shares of Sysco, a distributor of snack foods, and Pepsico Inc., the world's second- biggest soft drink maker, according to court papers. The panel was formed to study the link between weight and health.

The source for this post can be found here.

How can any sane person expect the FDA to protect the consumers' interests when a person who owns stock in the area charged with his regulatory oversight guards the door?