The US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labour and Pensions has delayed a vote on President Bush’s nomination of Lester Crawford as the new head of the US Food and Drug Administration after anonymous allegations were received from an agency employee. According to Associated Press, the Senate Health Committee has also requested that an internal investigation be initiated by the FDA into the allegations - details of which have not been disclosed.

Although little information was available, a Bloomberg report claims that the Committee wants to give its members “more time to address issues that have been raised on both sides of the aisle.”

Dr Crawford – currently acting FDA head – was nominated as the new FDA chief back in February [[15/02/05a]]. However, senators Patty Murray and Hillary Clinton last week said they would block the nomination until a decision is made on the approval status of Barr Laboratories’ Plan B (levonorgestrel) over-the-counter emergency contraceptive [[08/04/05b]]. The FDA controversially turned down Barr’s application for Plan B even though its advisory panel had backed the product’s approval [[07/05/04b]], [[17/12/03a]].