The baby formula shortage in the United States has led to an investigation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector Geneal will begin to audit actions by the FDA beginning “with a September 2021 report of contamination and ended with a massive February recall of infant formula” reports the Western Journal.
There is a documented five-month gap between the original contamination findings and the Food and Drug Administration’s action to close the Abbott Nutrition plant in Sturgis, Michigan.
The audit will investigate whether the FDA proceeded properly once the contamination was discovered, and to “safeguard the nation’s food supply, including infant formula and ensure all ingredients are safe” reported ABC.
President Biden defended the FDA’s actions at the White House Wednesday: “Well, I don’t think anyone anticipated the impact of the shutdown of one facility in — the Abbott facility. And it was accurately shut down because it was — the formula was questioned, in terms of its purity. And so, once we learned of the extent of it and how broad it was, we kicked everything into gear.”
Contradicting himself, he also stated that he became aware of the problem in April, an entire month before invoking the Defense Production Act to increase formula production. So in fact he did not kick everything into gear “once we learned of the extent of it and how broad it was.”
Biden was then asked by a reporter if during a meeting with CEOs, “didn’t those CEOs just tell you that they understood it would have a very big impact?”
“They did, but I didn’t,” Biden replied.
Biden then said that “the real problem occurred when it started — when it got shuttered. So, you’re saying we — they should have anticipated it would be shuttered.”
An FDA report from September of 2021 said that the Sturgis plant “did not maintain a building used in the manufacture, processing, packing or holding of infant formula in a clean and sanitary condition.”
Shortly after, in October, a whistleblower came forward with a report which was “not ready by agency officials until February, according to Frank Yiannasm, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for food policy and response.”
FDA officials blamed the pandemic and issues of processing mail for its delay. The New Yorker wrote the whistleblower’s report and allegations was “ghastly reading.”
In the report, the whistleblower claimed every so often the plant “failed to properly seal cans of formula, and, as a work-around, performed safety tests on empty cans instead.”
Additionally, poor equipment “caused product flowing through the pipes to pick up the bacteria that was trapped in the defective areas of the pipe” the report stated, adding that problems dated back as far as 2019 when formula at the plant tested positive for microorganisms that were supposed to be destroyed.
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Stormy Daniels lawyer in Trump trial, Michael Avenatti, sentenced to prison for stealing millions from clients
Lawyer Michael Avenatti, who represented porn star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against former President Donald Trump was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Avenatti was sentenced for stealing millions of dollars from his clients. He was also fined a whopping $10 million.
U.S. District Judge James v. Selna said “Avenatti’s sentence in Southern California will be served after he finishes a five-year term for separate convictions in New York” reported the Associated Press.
“This was the last of three major federal criminal cases to wrap up against the 51-year-old Californian. Avenatti is currently serving prison time for stealing book proceeds from Daniels — who sued to break a confidentiality agreement with Trump to stay mum about an affair she said they had — and for trying to extort Nike if the shoemaker didn’t pay him up to $25 million” adds the AP.
Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., used the news of Avenatti’s conviction to bring up an old Tweet of his. On October 11 2018, Avenatti predicted Trump Jr. would be going to prison: “Donald Trump Jr. will be indicted before his birthday on 12-31-18. If you doubt my prediction, please check my record over the last 7 months. #winning.”
Trump Jr. is getting the last laugh. Jr. tweeted Avenatti’s 2018 prediction with the Associated Press headline of the conviction: “BREAKING: Incarcerated lawyer Michael Avenatti sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for cheating clients out of millions of dollars – AP.”
BREAKING: Incarcerated lawyer Michael Avenatti sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for cheating clients out of millions of dollars – AP pic.twitter.com/Rjo2iV2sYX
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 6, 2022
Earlier this year Avenatti plead guilty to “four counts of wire fraud and a tax-related charge despite not reaching a plea deal with federal prosecutors, saying he wanted to be accountable and spare his family further embarrassment” added the AP.
“He was accused of negotiating and collecting settlement payments on behalf of his clients and funneling the money to accounts he controlled, and spending it on his own lavish lifestyle, including a private jet.”
The Associated Press also went into further detail on Avenatti’s court hearing:
“Despite the significant advantages that this defendant had — a first-rate education, a thriving legal career — he chose to commit the deplorable acts in this case time and time again,” prosecutor Brett Sagel told the court in Santa Ana. “The defendant is just another criminal who thinks the law is something that applies to other people.”
His voice breaking, Avenatti apologized to the clients he bilked, including two who told the court about how losing the money and their trust in someone they thought had their back upended their lives.
“I am deeply remorseful and contrite,” Avenatti said. “There is no doubt that all of them deserve much better, and I hope that someday they will accept my apologies and find it in their heart to forgive me.”
Authorities in California said Avenatti carried out what amounted to a “sophisticated Ponzi scheme” by collecting settlement payments on behalf of vulnerable clients and using the money to fund his exorbitant lifestyle.
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