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Health, Politics and The FDA ‘Revolving Door’

Following her recent announcement FDA (Food and Drug Administration) commissioner Dr Margaret Hamburg will retire at the end of this month. Dr Hamburg said that her retirement is due to the heavy demands of the job which she did for 6 years.

She has been criticised by a number of people like the research group Public Citizen director Dr Michael Carome. He alleges that her tenure has not only failed to tighten the control over the food and pharmaceutical industries’ self-interests by succumbing to their pressures, but she has also served them by implementing policies in favour.

Quackery, ineptitude, wheeling and dealing is often the order of the day when it comes to health’s indivisible ties with politics and the FDA. The FDA responsible for regulating our food and drugs making sure that these products are safe to go on the market have indeed been heavily criticised for many years now.

Here’s some brief background:

Time after time there have been cases of the ‘revolving door effect’ whereby representatives on the FDA panel deciding whether or not a food or drug is safe to go on the market have allowed questionable products to be fast-tracked approved which have gone on to cause ill health to patients/consumers. Some of these representatives then go on to leave the FDA and become directors of the questionable products they had judged to be safe, which confirms that they had ties to the food/drug company from the very start.

Taking the case of Dr Hamburg, she has shown to have had ties to amalgam mercury filling sales: She made millions of dollars for Henry Schein Inc which sells this product and she was a company director.

-There have been attempts to reform the system. Can the FDA ever be reformed to prevent the corruption and health damage to consumers?

Food and drug companies have been known to frequently put pressure on the FDA to approve products. An example of this was the case of aspartame ingested by a high number of the USA population today.

For years aspartame was known to cause a range of health problems and was frequently rejected by the FDA. However, in spite of an overwhelming number of independent studies confirming health damage; neurological damage, hypertension, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, headaches, brain tumours, multiple sclerosis… etc aspartame was finally approved.

In short, political corruption, misrepresented science and moneyed interests have stopped aspartame from being banned. It would definitely be a good cause to rally for the truth and warn the public about the dangers of aspartame: Post a social media item, write a blog, or article, make a video… whatever it takes to make aspartame consumers aware of the dangers… Or do this for any other ‘questionable products’ for that matter… Do your research: You’ll see that there are many concerned scientists.