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I'm referring to the following sentence: "Observes express their concerns whether the FDA, which/who is already overrun with work..."

My question is: Are authorities in the English language treated as a thing or as a person regarding relative-pronouns?

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Already a related question/ duplicate exists. Please check ELU records. –  Kris May 24 '13 at 6:11
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If you treat the organisation as an entity in itself, use which is. If you treat the organisation as an entity comprised of its staff, use who are.

The FDA, which is already overrun with work, ...
The FDA, who are already overrun with work, ...

It's very unusual (to the point of being almost always wrong) to personalise the organisation itself and use *who is.

There may be dialectal differences in whether an organisation is treated as a singular entity or a collection of staff-members. And it may also depend on the organisation: in British English you are likely to find that the government does, but the police do.

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I've never noticed the last distinction you make (but I agree). Maybe it's because the government is so distant and amorphous, but we see the police day-to-day! –  TrevorD May 24 '13 at 12:22
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