(a)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (a) (2) and (3) of this section, a person against whom criminal prosecution under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is contemplated by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs shall be given appropriate notice and an opportunity to present information and views to show cause why criminal prosecution should not be recommended to a United States attorney.
(2) Notice and opportunity need not be provided if the Commissioner has reason to believe that they may result in the alteration or destruction of evidence or in the prospective defendant's fleeing to avoid prosecution.
(3) Notice and opportunity need not be provided if the Commissioner contemplates recommending further investigation by the Department of Justice.
(b) If a statute enforced by the Commissioner does not contain a provision for an opportunity to present views, the Commissioner need not, but may in the Commissioner's discretion, provide notice and an opportunity to present views.
(c) If an apparent violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act also constitutes a violation of any other Federal statute(s), and the Commissioner contemplates recommending prosecution under such other statute(s) as well, the notice of opportunity to present views will include all violations.
(d) Notice of an opportunity to present views may be by letter, standard form, or other document(s) identifying the products and/or conduct alleged to violate the law. The notice shall--
(1) Be sent by registered or certified mail, telegram, telex, personal delivery, or any other appropriate mode of written communication;
(2) Specify the time and place where those named may present their views;
(3) Summarize the violations that constitute the basis of the contemplated prosecution;
(4) Describe the purpose and procedure of the presentation; and
(5) Furnish a form on which the legal status of any person named in the notice may be designated.
(e) If more than one person is named in a notice, a separate opportunity for presentation of views shall be scheduled on request. Otherwise, the time and place specified in a notice may be changed only upon a showing of reasonable grounds. A request for any change shall be addressed to the Food and Drug Administration office that issued the notice and shall be received in that office at least 3 working days before the date set in the notice.
(f) A person who has received a notice is under no legal obligation to appear or answer in any manner. A person choosing to respond may appear personally, with or without a representative, or may designate a representative to appear for him or her. Alternatively, a person may respond in writing. If a person elects not to respond on or before the time scheduled, the Commissioner will, without further notice, decide whether to recommend criminal prosecution to a United States attorney on the basis of the information available.
(g) If a respondent chooses to appear solely by designated representative, that representative shall present a signed statement of authorization. If a representative appears for more than one respondent, the representative shall submit independent documentation of authority to act for each respondent. If a representative appears without written authorization, the opportunity to present views with respect to that respondent may be provided at that time only if the authenticity of the representative's authority is first verified by telephone or other appropriate means.
[44 FR 12167, Mar. 6, 1979]