The Minnesota U.S. attorney’s office said yesterday that Fridley, Minn.-based Medtronic marked products made in Malaysia and China as manufactured in Tennessee between 2007 and 2014. Those products were sold to the U.S. Veterans Affairs Dept. and the Defense Dept. in violation of the Trade Agreements Act, federal prosecutors alleged.
Those devices included cardiac lead anchoring sleeves, spine surgery products and a handheld device used with a wireless cardiac device, according to the feds. The settlement is the result of a qui tam whistleblower lawsuit
Minnesota U.S. attorney Andrew Luger said the settlement enforces the requirement that products sold to the military and VA be made in America.
“Congress has mandated that the United States use its purchasing power to buy goods made in the United States or in designated countries. We take that mandate seriously and will not hesitate to take appropriate legal action to ensure compliance," Luger said in prepared remarks.
Medtronic spokeswoman Cindy Resman told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the company has taken steps to improve its country-of-origin disclosures for government contracts. The products flagged by the feds were made by 3rd-party suppliers in China or Malaysia, Resman said.