Over the past thirty years the FDA has done little to prosecute companies breaking their rules. In light of recent high-profile recalls, product safety lapses are quite public, and the FDA is stepping up their game and doing their job – protecting consumers.
In effort to prevent companies from breaking anymore rules the FDA is sending a strong signal to companies and their executives. The FDA will use its authority from the “Park Doctrine,” which allows it to seek criminal convictions for the violations of federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act against executives, even if they are unaware of specific manufacturing violations but are in a position of authority to prevent or correct the problems.
The Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) at the FDA has not yet filed any charges or identified any companies, but do not be surprised if executives start to be named due to their companies quality problems, negligent fueled recalls, and ignoring FDA warning labels.
In the natural and organic product industry it is commonly known that there exist many false claims. So, if the FDA soon wises up and sets regulation on natural and organic labeling requirements natural product executives could be targeted too. Until “natural” and “organic” labeling requirements for cosmetics and personal care products are set, false natural claims aren’t going to send the executives to jail, but failing to comply with the laws that apply to their respective classes of goods could grant them a one-way ticket to the ‘big house.’
In the end, if the FDA focuses new aggressive tactics on those who are knowingly ignoring the law and endangering consumers, it will benefit us all.