The Food and Drug Administrations asked a federal judge to hold the American Red Cross in contempt of court for repeated safety violations in its blood collection program. FDA is acting today to ensure that the Red Cross takes much more seriously its role as guardian of the safety of the nation's blood supply, which is essential to the public health.
Despite a promise made by the Red Cross in a 1993 consent decree to make substantial improvements in the quality control of its blood program, inspections over the past two years have revealed persistent and serious violations of blood safety rules.
FDA inspectors said they found several violations including incorrect labeling and release of potentially contaminated blood, a lack of adequate quarantine and inventory controls and inadequate donor registration controls. The FDA wants the court to grant it the power to levy fines of $10,000 a day as well as for each future safety violation inspectors discover.