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3 Ways the FDA Is a Threat to Consumers
According to the Food and Drug Administration’s website, the FDA “is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics and products that emit radiation.” While its goal is to protect the health of the public, its regulations and practices often fall short. Serious FDA reform is necessary to make the agency effective and efficient. Below are 3 ways the FDA is a threat to consumers.
1) Special Interests
Like all aspects of government, the FDA is no stranger to powerful special interests. From salmonella tainted eggs to e coli breakouts, it seems we are constantly bombarded with constant food recalls. Not to mention all the lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies due to Vioxx and other prescription drugs. The reason these foods and drugs are able to make it to store and restaurant shelves in the first place is that corporate and political interest trumps public safety. In fact the FDA and the USDA do not even have the full authority to authorize recalls and inspect facilities. Companies then take advantage of the weak enforcement and lobby for less regulation.
2) No Enforcement on Dietary Supplements
In 1994 Congress legislated to deregulate dietary supplements. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) dietary supplement companies are responsible for their own products safety. Seems like conflicts of interest don’t you think? The FDA can only take action against unsafe products after they have reached the market.
3) “User Fees”
When the FDA reviews drugs for market, the drug companies pay a “user fee” to cover some of the costs. These fees pay a large amount of the salaries for the doctors, pharmacists and chemists who review and approve these drugs. Here again lies a huge conflict of interest. The FDA is being paid by the same companies seeking approval.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|American Health Care11 May 2011|