U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson, of the Eastern District of Michigan, entered a consent decree of permanent injunction against Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Green Hope LLC, dba Rosewood Products, and its president, Phil G. Ye, the Justice Department announced today.
The company manufactures and sells ready-to-eat organic tofu and soy milk products to businesses in Michigan and Minnesota, including organic supermarket chains. As alleged in the complaint filed against the company and Ye, numerous Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspections since 2009 found persistent violations at the company’s manufacturing facility involving insanitary conditions. FDA’s inspections found that Green Hope did not store food properly, did not address employee cleanliness issues, permitted waste water to come into contact with tofu during processing and failed to clean all food-contact surfaces and equipment. These violations raised the possibility of contamination of the company’s food products.
The consent decree orders Green Hope and Ye to take a wide range of actions to correct the violations and ensure that they do not happen again. Among other actions, Green Hope must develop and implement sanitation control programs; provide FDA the opportunity to inspect the facilities to assure Green Hope’s compliance with the consent decree, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, and applicable regulations; and receive written authorization from FDA to resume operations. Green Hope must also make structural repairs to its facility necessary to protect against contamination of raw ingredients, in-process and finished articles of food, containers and packaging materials.
“This company has a long history of not complying with federal statutes and regulations intended to protect the public health,” said Stuart F. Delery, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “Consumers expect, and deserve, that their food be safe to eat, and the Department of Justice will continue to take enforcement action against food manufacturers whose conduct can endanger public safety.”
This case was litigated by Dan Baeza of the Consumer Protection Branch in the Department of Justice’s Civil Division in conjunction with Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter A. Caplan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan and Christopher Fanelli of the FDA’s Office of Chief Counsel. The case was investigated by the FDA’s Detroit District Office.
The FDA Warning Letter against Green Hope can be found at: www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2011/ucm254923.htm .