Staple Fiber Manufacturing Inc. is facing a $20 million fine from the Department of Justice for violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
According to a complaint filed in a federal court in New York City, Staple was in violation of a provision of the Act that requires manufacturers of products containing fibers, or substances derived from fiber, to obtain FDA approval before selling them.
Staple’s fiber-tech pipes, which it produces at its plants in California and Georgia, are made from synthetic fibers, which are chemically similar to those found in real-world fabrics.
The company is also alleged to have failed to meet the requirements of the Federal Food, Drugs, and Cosmetic Amendments Act, or FDA.
The agency alleged that Staple failed to adequately disclose that its fibers were synthetic and that its products were not intended for human consumption.
Federal officials are not ruling out the possibility of additional fines and civil penalties for the company.
The DOJ is also asking a judge to order the company to pay a penalty of $1,000 per day per violation of the law.
In a statement, Stape said the company “has taken steps to comply with the FDA’s guidance regarding the use of synthetic fibers in our products, and we intend to continue to do so.”
The company said it is “reviewing the matter” and would not comment further.
The FDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.