USDA puts Iowa employees on leave amid drug allegations - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

USDA puts Iowa employees on leave amid drug allegations

DES MOINES (KWWL) -- Late Wednesday afternoon, The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it placed 19 employees at a lab in central Iowa on administrative leave after allegations that some used veterinary credentials to purchase low-cost medications for human use.

Click here for official statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

There are three USDA laboratories that employ about 900 people located on the Iowa State University campus in Ames. The labs there test for diseases such as mad cow and bird flu.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Iowa's former governor, on Wednesday called it "a very serious situation that requires immediate and decisive action."

The names of the employees placed on leave weren't released, but officials say more employees could be involved.

The USDA says it has commissioned outside reviews of laboratory processes and management at the facility, but stresses that there is no evidence any lab work was compromised.

Online Producer:  JJ Murray

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