Crawford held shares in FDA regulated firms as late as 2004:WSJ reportsAs late as 2004, former FDA head Lester Crawford or his wife owned stock in companies that make or distribute products regulated by the agency, a factor that may have led to his abrupt resignation last month, The Wall Street Journal reported today.
According to the article, financial disclosure forms released under the Freedom of Information Act show that during at least part of that time, he or his wife held stock in companies that have some of their business regulated by the FDA. Those companies included medical device makers Kimberly-Clark and Teleflex, food distributor Sysco and Embrex, an agricultural biotechnology company on whose board Crawford once sat. The forms also showed that an ethics official raised questions about information on Crawford's financial forms shortly before he left the FDA.
Crawford, on a form dated June 28, 2005, reported several stock sales during 2004, including those of Teleflex, Sysco, Kimberly-Clark and Embrex, with each transaction valued between $15,001 and $50,000. He also listed a sale of PepsiCo stock valued between $50,001 and $100,000.
However on an earlier form, an ethics officer said in a notation dated Jan.7, 2003: "all of the following investments were sold" in February and March 2002. The ethics official then listed companies including Teleflex, Kimberly-Clark, PepsiCo and Sysco.
On July 8, 2005, an ethics official wrote on the June 28 form: "need more info."
A note dated Aug. 12 indicated the ethics official had a telephone conversation "with filer's broker" that also said "sending more info."
No ethics officer's signature appears on the form. A signature would indicate that the information complied with laws and regulations, the article noted. Crawford's forms from previous years carried ethics officers' signatures, the article said.
Crawford and the Department of Health and Human Services, which overseas the FDA, declined to comment for the Journal story.