DeWine: FDA Limiting Use of Battelle Tech is ‘Reckless’

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted expressed “deep disappointment” Sunday in the decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to limit use of technology by Battelle Memorial Institute to sterilize surgical masks.

The FDA has authorized the Columbus-based nonprofit research company to sterilize 10,000 surgical masks in Ohio daily, despite its ability to sterilize up to 160,000 masks daily in the state alone.

“The FDA’s decision to severely limit the use of this life-saving technology is nothing short of reckless,” DeWine said in a statement. “Battelle’s innovative technology has the capability to protect healthcare professionals and first responders in Ohio and across the country, but in this time of crisis, the FDA has decided not to support those who are risking their lives to save others. This is a matter of life and death. I am not only disappointed by this development, but I’m also stunned that the FDA would decline to do all it can to protect this country’s frontline workers in this serious time of need.”

The authorization by the FDA is limited to Battelle’s Columbus headquarters and prevents it from sending its technology to other states, according to the governor. During his daily coronavirus update Saturday, DeWine said Battelle committed to having two sterilization machines in Ohio and planned to send them to Seattle, New York City and Washington, D.C. as well.

Battelle had planned to ship four more units elsewhere in the U.S. next week and 15 additional machines in the coming weeks.

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Pictured: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health. (Joshua A. Bickel/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.