The Week: FDA’s Secret Spying Was a Vast Operation

A surveillance operation by the Food and Drug Administration against its own scientists was wider than previously known and approved by the agency’s in-house counsel, according to reports published this week. In 2010, the agency began a narrow investigation into leaks, but the probe grew into a campaign to counter the agency’s critics, capturing more than 80,000 pages of private emails and documents that scientists had sent to congressmen, lawyers, and other officials. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said that “the FDA is discouraging whistle-blowers,” and has “absolutely no business” reading private emails. “They think they can be the Gestapo and do anything they want.”

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