Monday, July 30, 2012

Former FDA Reviewer Speaks Out About Intimidation,
Retaliation and Marginalizing of Safety

From TruthOut courtesy of BuzzFlash:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is often accused of serving industry at the expense of consumers. But even FDA defenders are shocked by reports this week of an institutionalized FDA spying program on its own scientists, lawmakers, reporters and academics that included an enemies list of "actors" and collaborators.


During development, if reviewers say things that companies don't like, they will complain about the reviewer or they will call upper management and have the reviewer removed or overruled. On one occasion, the company even told me they were going to call upper management to get a clear requirement for approval that they did not want to fulfill eliminated, which I then saw happen. On another occasion a company clearly stated in a meeting that they had "paid for an approval."

More here.

And people wonder why I'm not an Obama supporter.

This is a prime example of how our political system can no longer be characterized as democratic. Corporate forces have successfully performed an end-run around the democratic process. It no longer matters who you vote for. The Democrats are the friendly-faced corporate party, favoring gay marriage and good vibes all around; the Republicans are the taciturn-faced corporate party, clucking at free love and non-Christians, except for Jews who support Israel, wallowing in anger and pessimism. But the operative word here is "corporate." Both parties are owned and operated by corporations, solely for the benefit of corporations. And there's nothing you or I can do about it within the formal political process.

I've gone on at great length about the various ways big business has bought our nation, campaign funding, lobbying, ownership and use of the mass media for propaganda purposes, but I've only touched on this one a few times, regulatory capture. That is, the vast forces of wealth have successfully wormed their way into the vast regulatory apparatus overseen by the White House. There are numerous ways that this is really fucking bad, but it's probably all summed up by the old adage about the fox guarding the chicken coop: once various industry insiders have achieved a certain density of occupancy within a given regulatory agency, those insiders then move full speed ahead in using that agency for the benefit of the industry they're supposed to watching over. That is, these foxes who have been mistaken for dogs commence a veritable blood orgy of chicken eating. And fuck the farmer. And fuck the chickens.

That's the country we now live in.

So click through and read the article, if you dare. It paints an extraordinarily depressing picture of how bad things have gotten. We really no longer know if the drugs and medical devices doctors use are actually safe. It's that bad.