Science & Tech
Ontario lab pres says ex-managers bogus reports to blame for shutdown

Credits: File Photo.

IAN ROBERTSON | QMI AGENCY

TORONTO -- The head of a Mississauga laboratory which was closed by Health Canada blames a former manager for the company’s problems.

Federal inspectors shut down Chemi Pharmaceutical Inc. after discovering falsified drug tests.
Laboratory president Mariana Stravrikov Tuesday accused an ex-manager of forcing staff to sign bogus reports.

She added Monday’s shutdown left her 20 employees stressed and facing an uncertain future.

“It’s sabotage,” Stravrikov insisted. “His behaviour was somewhat aggressive in nature against employees and he had them sign documents supporting his reports.”

The lab’s “Establishment Licence” was killed under Food and Drug Act (FDA) regulations.

The company provided analysis of pharmaceutical and natural health products.

Cautioning there was no evidence of anyone’s health being “compromised,” Health Canada officials promised to work “around the clock to confirm the safety of these products,” and take immediate action “when required and inform Canadians.”

Inspectors made a “surprise visit” over two days starting Nov. 22, after a phone tip accused Chemi of bogus records, a Health Canada spokesman said.

Health Canada said 53 products or ingredients -- submitted by 11 firms -- have to be retested. Another 25 products or ingredients from 11 other firms may require retesting.

The items include Aspirin, vitamins, heart and veterinary medicines, food products, a cosmetic preservative and an acid reflux treatment.

The maximum penalty for a person or company found guilty of an FDA offence is a $5,000 fine, up to three years in jail, or both.

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