Sen. Grassley Probes FDA Over Email Surveillance of Whistleblowers

By:  Brian Koenig
02/03/2012
       
Sen. Grassley Probes FDA Over Email Surveillance of Whistleblowers

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) issued a five-page letter Wednesday demanding that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg disclose who authorized an effort to monitor email correspondence of a group of whistleblower scientists. In the letter, Grassley warned that FDA officials could be usurping their authority by retaliating against whistleblowers who have expressed concern with the agency’s procedures.
 
 

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa, photo) issued a five-page letter Wednesday demanding that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg disclose who authorized an effort to monitor email correspondence of a group of whistleblower scientists. In the letter, Grassley warned that FDA officials could be usurping their authority by retaliating against whistleblowers who have expressed concern with the agency’s procedures.
 
The Senator’s request came in response to a story published Monday by the Washington Post, which revealed that the FDA secretly monitored all personal email communication of the agency’s own doctors and scientists after they notified congressional leaders that the FDA was approving medical equipment that "posed unacceptable risks to patients." Six whistleblowers filed a lawsuit against the agency in U.S. District Court in Washington last week — after compiling a series of emails and memos obtained through the Freedom of Information Act — asserting that over the course of two years, their personal Gmail accounts were being recorded when they used them on government computers. Further, the Post reported:

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