The former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Lester Crawford, has pleaded guilty to breaching conflict of interest rules. Crawford and his wife held between $188,000 and $336,000 in shares in four companies that he was required to have sold, under FDA rules. Two of the companies he held stock in were the food companies Sysco and PepsiCo. Crawford had shares in these companies at a time that he was chair of the FDA's Obesity Working Group, which was reviewing calorie-content labelling standards for soft drinks. Crawford currently works as Senior Counsel at the Washington D.C. lobbying firm Policy Directions Inc.. In 2005, Policy Directions clients included Kraft Foods, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Nestle, Merck and the American Feed Industry Association.
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