Federal agents in Arizona and New York on Friday seized $50 million in generic prescription drugs from a company that government lawyers say violates federal safety standards.

The drugs were seized from Phoenix headquarters of Steris Laboratories Inc. and at distribution centers of Schein Pharmaceutical Inc. in Phoenix and Brewster, N.Y.The Food and Drug Administration alleges Steris cannot guarantee the safety of the drugs because it does not follow federal safety rules.

Federal agents didn't know whether the drugs were dangerous but seized them because they hadn't been subjected to normal federal safety checks, said Cathy Colbert, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix.

"The belief is that they're potentially contaminated," she said. She wasn't sure what types of drugs were seized.