FOIA At Work
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Here is a perfect example of how valuable the Freedom of Information Act?a favorite Judicial Watch tool?is: When former head of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Lester Crawford, resigned abruptly a few months ago, mum was the word from government officials.
Suspecting some kind of financial wrongdoing on the good doctor’s part, the Wall Street Journal filed a FOIA request with the Department of Health and Human Services to obtain Dr. Crawford’s financial disclosure documents.
It turns out that Dr. Crawford and his wife owned stock in companies regulated by the agency as late as 2004. Those stocks include Teleflex Inc. and Kimberly-Clark, both with medical divisions; large food supplier Sysco Company; Pepsi Co Inc. and Wendy’s International, which sell food products and Embrex, an agriculture biotechnology company.
Just last month, Dr. Crawford was quoted in Forbes Magazine as saying that he had sold all of his interest in Embrex before he went to work for the F.D.A. His financial disclosure says otherwise.