FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A Frederick scientist says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stole his trade secrets for software to help detect threats to the food supply.

The Frederick News-Post reported Tuesday that John Hnatio says he learned of the alleged copyright infringement when he saw a similar tool offered for free on the FDA website last year. The agency’s intellectual property lawyer has said he could not substantiate the allegation.

Hnatio says he has filed a complaint with the Small Business Administration. The SBA says it referred the matter to the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Hnatio runs a small company called FoodQuestTQ. He claims the release of the FDA tool has cost him business opportunities and forced him to lay off workers.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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