A Wisconsin manufacturer of baby wipes, medical pads and other products closed down its plant this week when U.S. Marshals arrived with orders to seize the dangerous products. The investigation was triggered by the discovery of bacterial contamination in some of their products. Food and Drug Administration officials had asked the company to voluntarily shut down last week, before the Marshals showed up at the factory.
You may have heard about the two-year-old boy who was killed by an aggressive bacterial meningitis infection recently. The source of that infection is now thought to be the contaminated wipes which had been used during the boy’s treatment. The wipes were recalled one month after the boy died as a result of the infection.
The FDA now says that they have discovered additional contaminated products at the manufacturing facility located just outside Milwaukee. The contamination that is alleged to have caused the bacterial meningitis has been tracked to the materials used to make the pads and the foil packaging. Because these components are also used in a number of other products, regulators fear that the contamination may be more widespread.
Several federal legislators have addressed this issue specifically in relation to the Wisconsin manufacturer. A bipartisan group of senators said that they were particularly concerned by reports that the FDA may have been aware of problems at this plans up to two years ago. They argue that this is evidence of a fundamental breakdown in the federal quality assurance and drug safety practices.
Source: MSNBC “Wipe-maker shuts doors after U.S. Marshals arrive on site” JoNel Alicia, April, 4, 2011