Something is similar to something else. It’s not similar as something else.
It’s also smoother to keep “similar” and “to” together in your sentence — like this:
“It relies on criteria similar to the FDA’s.”
Oh yeah. It’s FDA’s, not FDA, because we’re comparing this criteria to their criteria — we’re not comparing this criteria to the FDA itself.
Alice Park is a fine writer. I think she was just in a hurry to get to the beach that day.