American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) is now CharityWatch.
Red Cross Reputation Bloodied Again
in the April/May 2012 issue of the Charity Rating Guide &
American Red Cross, which controls
nearly one half of our nation's blood supply, was fined almost $9.6
million by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2012
for "significant violations" observed at 16 Red Cross blood services
facilities during inspections in 2010. The Red Cross has been fined
more than a dozen times since 2003 for violations of blood safety
In response to the latest penalty, the
Red Cross issued a statement that the organization is "disappointed
that the FDA believed it necessary to issue a fine for an inspection
conducted so long ago and it is important to know we have already
taken corrective steps to address those matters and that improvements
in operations have been made." The Red Cross issued a similar response
to a $16 million fine levied by the FDA in 2010 due to violations
it found during inspections in 2009 and earlier.
According to the FDA letter announcing
the 2012 fines, "many of the violations recounted in this letter
are virtually identical to violations charged in previous [letters],"
and the Red Cross "has known of these continuing problems and has
failed to take adequate steps to correct them."
While the near $9.6 million fine may
seem like a lot of money, it actually is less than 0.3% (three-tenths
of one percent) of the Red Cross' total revenues of $3.6 billion
in fiscal 2010. CharityWatch believes that this fine by itself may
not be large enough to compel the Red Cross to avoid repeat violations
in the future.