USDA Acts Against Peanut Corporation of America; FDA Testifies Before CongressFebruary 6, 2009
By Ricardo Carvajal –
USDA has suspended, and proposes to debar, Peanut Corporation of America ("PCA") from “participating in government contracts or subcontracts, as well as federal non procurement programs,” among other activities. The suspension is for one year and is effective immediately. The proposed debarment would be effective for three years. PCA has 30 days to object to USDA’s actions. In its press release announcing the actions, USDA had harsh words for PCA, alleging that the firm “lacks business integrity and business honesty.”
Meanwhile, in a written statement submitted by FDA/CFSAN Director Stephen Sundlof to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, FDA reiterated its confidence that the PCA facility in Georgia is the source of the current Salmonella outbreak, and confirmed that FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations is investigating. FDA has taken the somewhat unusual step of posting the Form 483 issued at the conclusion of its recent inspection of the Georgia facility on the internet. The inspectional observations listed in the Form 483 detail numerous apparent failures to adhere to good manufacturing practice requirements.