FDA Spied on Its Own Scientists as Part of a Massive Witch Hunt—Action Alert!

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surveillance camerasThis rogue agency secretly captured thousands of emails that its disgruntled scientists sent to Congress, labor officials, journalists and even the president.

The New York Times is reporting that the US Food and Drug Administration conducted a wide-ranging surveillance operation against a group of its own scientists in an attempt to halt criticism of its medical review process. The agency also had an “enemies list” of sorts that included agency employees, congressional officials, outside medical researchers, and journalists thought to be working together to disseminate negative and “defamatory” information about the FDA.

The FDA used spy software that was installed on the workers’ laptops that took screen captures, tracked keystrokes, intercepted personal emails, and even copied documents that were on their personal flash drives. The surveillance, according to the Times, sprang out of a bitter dispute between the scientists and their FDA supervisors over the scientists’ claims that faulty review procedures at the agency led to the approval of some medical devices that had exposed patients to dangerous levels of radiation.

FDA’s actions almost certainly violated the law by seizing information that is specifically protected under the law. Attorney-client communications, whistle-blower complaints to Congress, and workplace grievances filed with the government are all protected information. Six scientists are suing the agency over the incident.

Some members of Congress were not pleased by the revelations, particularly since scientists’ private correspondence with Senate and House staff members was similarly intercepted.

Congressional review of the FDA is scant, and most representatives and senators really don’t know how out-of-control this agency is, or how it acts as executive agency, legislator, and judge, often running roughshod over the human rights we take for granted in the US.

In May, Sen. Rand Paul introduced an amendment to control the FDA’s police powers. You may recall last year’s raid of a food co-op by the FDA, in which armed teams were deployed with guns drawn, and law enforcement ordered all co-op members out of the store, seizing all the cash in the register, then handcuffing the co-op’s founder and placing him in an unmarked car without reading him his rights. Sen. Paul’s amendment would have prohibited FDA employees (as well as all other Health and Human Services employees) from carrying weapons and making arrests without warrants.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to be arming bureaucrats to go on the farm, with arms, to stop people from selling milk from a cow. I think we have too many armed federal agencies, and that we need to put an end to this,” said Paul. “Criminal law increasingly seems to be used as a tool of our government bureaucracy to punish and control honest businessmen for simply attempting to make a living.” Unfortunately, the amendment failed by a vote of 78 to 15. We clearly have a lot of work to do to educate Congress about what the FDA is doing.

The idea of a government spying on its own people—on its own employees in order to silence them and end dissent—is a profoundly scary one. The FDA’s budget is about $2.5 billion, though when user fees are added, that increases to $4.5 billion. A quasi-totalitarian agency that large, and one that is controlling so much of our economy, cannot be allowed to act in blatant disregard of the rights of its employees or the laws of the country.

Action Alert! Help us reform the FDA! Go to ReformFDA.org and sign our petition. Make your voice heard in Congress!

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  • Margery Oberheide

    The newly released information that the FDA was spying on critics of the agency in the scientific field is outrageous. The FDA has engaged in highly questionable conduct in its use of its police policies which have been extreme and unwarranted in scope, and in their regulatory decisions which have in cases sided against scientific opinions, warnings,and objections to favor industrial and corporate interests . . .

    Drastic reform of the FDA is overdue.

  • j

    The idea of a government spying on its own people—on its own employees in order to silence them and end dissent—is horrible

  • KIM BELCHER

    “USER FEES?”

  • Lynn Morris

    This is totally absurd. The FDA has all kinds of problems and we all know it. It deserves to be criticized. Our scientists should not be spied on just because the government doesn’t like it. What are we? A bunch of socialists? Communists? Hope all of you spies get sick from practices that should be changed but doesn’t because “you don’t like criticism.”

  • robert

    I have been at odds with the FDA for 25 years. First, for their blatant nepotism toward the manufacturers of MSG and their food industry cronies. It did not stop there and I have witnessed horrible breaches in public trust over and over again ever since. There is virtually no end to their conflicts of interest and face it, they are thoroughly infiltrated by Pharma and the processed food giants. As for the in house spying, I would expect that kind of conduct out of this terrible regulatory menace. Reform now!

  • JAN

    people need to be safe with drugs—everything CANNOT BE FOR THE MONEY ALL THE TIME—people’s safety is much more important–stop these drug companies NOW!

  • David Braun

    This raises and supports suspicions that the FDA has been acting as promoter and protector of the medical and pharmaceutical industrial complexes rather than regulating them to protect the public from misfeasance or malfeasance. This state of affairs needs to be remedied.

  • Laura Manges

    J. Edgar Hoover rides again! This intimidation of scientists from speaking their truth, and ordinary citizens to conduct their affairs without being bullied by a government agency, is a flagrant violation of our most basic rights! It MUST be addressed NOW! Thank you

  • bernardo alayzamujica

    “I don’t think it’s a good idea to be arming bureaucrats to go on the farm, with arms, to stop people from selling milk from a cow. I think we have too many armed federal agencies, and that we need to put an end to this,” said Paul. “Criminal law increasingly seems to be used as a tool of our government bureaucracy to punish and control honest businessmen for simply attempting to make a living.” Unfortunately, the amendment failed by a vote of 78 to 15. We clearly have a lot of work to do to educate Congress about what the FDA is doing.

  • Buck Crosby

    If the FDA had anybody with honor and integrity running it the witch hunt would not have been necessary because there would have been nothing to hide . It would have saved all that expense but then their bribes covered it anyway .

  • Nanette

    Paid for by lobbyist, no doubt!
    Privacy is a myth, a fairy tale.

  • Steve Horneffer

    I never thought I would find myself in agreement with Rand Paul. As a typical Republican science denier I generally find him idiotic, but keeping guns and warrantless arrest powers out of the hands of bureaucrats is hard to disapprove
    The ideological assault on science threatens the disciplines that brought us from the dark ages to modern medicine, space flight, and just about every improvement in the human condition that has ever occurred. It is beyond stupid, and the fact that they think they can get away with it speaks volumes about the “dumbing down of America”. The relentless cuts in education that started with Reagan and have continued ever since are apparently paying off for the GOP.

  • Shelley

    All This maybe true but I think the deeper you investigate the more you will find that many members of Congress already know what the FDA is up to. After all they are deep into each other’s pockets.

  • Stephen Munch

    This will never stop because the FDA’S objective is not to help them but to systematically kill them silent but deadly. These are the policies of this government and outside third party’s who feel that they have the right to play God. This is very obvious if you study the patterns of this rotten and corrupt branch of government.

  • Dorian Sarris

    Hello:

    I simply want to stress the importance of “mission”. Companies of any repute have them always!
    The name of the EPA is Environmental PROTECTION Agency. How simple is that? It is your jobs to PROTECT our environment…REGARDLESS OF THE COSTS!! That should be an easy mantra. Otherwise, perhaps those who do not agree could be transferred to the Pentagon.

  • Charles Weber

    This is a two edged sword.

    One: The FDA is controlled the big business, especially companies such as Monsanto, and their efforts to control all the world’s food, and make it Genetically Modified Organisma (GMO)

    Two: It is now obvious that the US Government, Congress, FDA, and FTA are all in bed together with the Monsanto type companies to keep GMO going. For the record, GMO is so bad, that the EU has outlawed all GMO foods. And here we are in the US, are struggling to get our food GMO marked on the label. We are in deep trouble, and nothing is being down about it.

  • Pamela Mayer

    If you are not furious and up in arms you are on your own. THis is so unconstitutional and outright illegal I cannot even think straight. The FDA is acting like any other corporation where the bottom line is “PROFIT.” How dare they spy on their own workers. Those workers had valid complaints I have no doubt and we want to know what they are. I am not going to stand by and have my country’s Federal Drug Administration behave as the SS in Hitler’s administration. They certainly are not looking after the good of the people!

    Get mad dammit! Don’t go quietly as the Jews boarded trains!

  • Susan Hubbart

    This does not surprise me one iota. Years ago a friend was prescribed Fosamax but a friend of hers who had been a Pfizer research scientist warned her not to touch the stuff. He knew it was bad on a long term basis and warned her of the bone loss in the jaw. Now it is all coming to light about these so called bone building drugs. Where was the FDA then? Being paid off by Pfizer to allow it on the market?

  • Leander Mayr

    In My opinion the FDA is a criminal organization that should be completely reformed, as it is now it is controlled by the Pharmaceutical Industry. The recent scandal, spying on its own employees in order to silence the Whistle-blowers is just one of hundreds of instances where the FDA is illegally harassing individuals and Small Businesses using taxpayers money. If they didn’t waste so much money on frivolous lawsuits etc, they would have enough resources to do the job they were intended to do.

  • M Williams

    FDA is a segment of our country that is already ruling as a dictatorship. We are supposed to be a free nation. FDA needs to be stopped. It has ruined countless honest folks over decades of time. Because they seemingly have an endless supply of money, the honest person finally is broke and cannot bring FDA to their knees as should be done. The Bible says “Be sure your sin will find you out….” FDA is now exposed. They need to be brought into account and stopped before it goes any further.

  • Douglas Michie Johnson

    The FDA needs to be dissolved until they permanently close the revolving door between themselves and the industries they “regulate.”

  • ronald humphrey

    it is long past due that the congress consider a hearing on the operation of the federal drug administration reviewing it’s purposes and responsibilities and methods of up holding the law.

  • Linda Butler

    Does not surprise me in the least that this has been allowed to happen.

  • http://[email protected] A. Elizabeth Giliam

    the FDA is a cesspool of evil.

  • http://[email protected] A. Elizabeth Giliam

    I’m glad 6 FDA scientists are suing the FDA inside spies.

  • Tim Azerkan

    Time for a change! A new Agency for the Dietary Supplement Industry, separate from the FDA is needed NOW!

    At this stage what we need is to form a new Agency that will overlook only over the Dietary Supplements industry, separate from the FDA which completely favors the pharmaceutical industry. This way there would be no conflict of interest due to FDA’s well known cohesion and favoritism with the pharmaceutical corporations that harms the general public due to their unfounded restrictions on natural remedies.

    Is out there a good, caring Legislator that will take this task???

  • Daryl Seltzer

    Our kids well being are at stake. What are you thinking?

  • Linda Zigich

    Usually the ones doing the policing are the ones that need to be policed. It’s time to stop the insanity. Corporations are running the FDA, BioTech, Big Pharma, Big Agra are running the FDA. Isn’t it time the FDA protect the citizens instead of the profit line of corporations?

  • http://charles_w.tripod.com/index.html Charles Weber

    If the FDA arrested a man without readng his rights it seems to me that he has a case for getting them removed from their jobs and maybe worse.

  • joanne groshardt

    FDA Spied on Its Own Scientists as Part of a Massive Witch Hunt—SHAME ON THEM

  • susan

    you know it is sad that they wont take the same time to investigate corporations like monsano and other biotech companies, Which is where they need to be doing the hunt. because these corps are destroying our food sources faster than we think. when animal life and plant life no longer produce nutritional value as in the past, some thing needs to be regulated to the hilt. and these “Biotech Corporations” are the ones that need the Regulation by the FDA. Not there own.
    I am sorry that the FDA is running scared from the truth it is about time that people had a heart and were more worried about public health than pocketbooks.

  • Charlotte

    And we’re surprised because? Our government has forgotten who they work for, Somehow they have the idea that they can do anything they want. Our government is very unhealthy and we, the citizens need to fix it. We can do is by voting out those elected officials who support such actions.We need to be educated voters.

  • http://yahoo tye block

    Ridiculous action by the FDA!

  • Fred Almy

    Why is the FDA enforcement officers allowed to carry guns and also allowed to illegally arrest an individual for not following the FDA’s illegal rules?

  • laureen picciani

    You work for citizens not corporations, or do you? Shame on you for your lack of ethics, but no surprise, unfortunately.

  • Nancy Earle

    The FDA is far out of control. Its action of policing small farmers and spying ln its own employees is unconscionable. This agency needs to be reigned in and learn to operate within the law.
    This agency must be reformed

  • http://tstrong.com Teresa Strong

    FDA–you work for the people, not the drug companies.

  • Leonora Foster

    It seems as if we’re moving to an era where being robots would be the only satisfactory state that would be acceptable to government officials.

  • Michele FitzGerald

    As a consumer I perceive the powers of the FDA to equal that of controlling interstate commerce but unlike Presidential powers the FDA utilizes militia without check. Congress has too many representatives that protect economic monopolies because they are “in bed” with capitalists who get them to WA on a special interest ticket. The FDA is a federal agency with powers that may be unconstitutional.

  • Lucy Forsting

    This type of behavior has to stop!

  • Donna R. D’Fini

    Unethical and worse! Free speech is a basic tenet of this country – supposedly!

  • http://[email protected] Marian Fortune

    Please QUIT TRYING TO HARM US! I DON’T WANT TO BE SICK! PLEASE STOP!

  • Pace D. Fering

    You cannot resolve any controversy that has significant, meaningful dissent to an official position by absolute suppression of the dissent; instead, a comprehensive airing of the core issues achieves a consensus of the essential truths used to reach reasonable conclusions. Thus one question for the FDA: What purposes are served through your extensive, apparently extreme, efforts to suppress dissent?

  • robin brown

    for some eye opening info on the power of the fda go to ‘altcancer.net’ and read the march 12 info page on it;s founder and the long underhand,sneaky way the fda goes after those that big pharma consider a threat, and sic the fda on them

  • Stephanie Koch

    Cleaning up the FDA is a start in the right direction. It’s about time!

  • Kathleen Hopkins

    In May, Sen. Rand Paul introduced an amendment to control the FDA’s police powers. You may recall last year’s raid of a food co-op by the FDA, in which armed teams were deployed with guns drawn, and law enforcement ordered all co-op members out of the store, seizing all the cash in the register, then handcuffing the co-op’s founder and placing him in an unmarked car without reading him his rights. Sen. Paul’s amendment would have prohibited FDA employees (as well as all other Health and Human Services employees) from carrying weapons and making arrests without warrants.

    “I don’t think it’s a good idea to be arming bureaucrats to go on the farm, with arms, to stop people from selling milk from a cow. I think we have too many armed federal agencies, and that we need to put an end to this,” said Paul. “Criminal law increasingly seems to be used as a tool of our government bureaucracy to punish and control honest businessmen for simply attempting to make a living.” Unfortunately, the amendment failed by a vote of 78 to 15. We clearly have a lot of work to do to educate Congress about what the FDA is doing.

    The idea of a government spying on its own people—on its own employees in order to silence them and end dissent—is a profoundly scary one. The FDA’s budget is about $2.5 billion, though when user fees are added, that increases to $4.5 billion. A quasi-totalitarian agency that large, and one that is controlling so much of our economy, cannot be allowed to act in blatant disregard of the rights of its employees or the laws of the country.

  • http://www.fdainformation.com Elaine Feuer

    I write about FDA abuse of powers, it’s criminal activities, and how the FDA spied on its own scientists in my new E-Book, INNOCENT CASUALTIES: THE FDA’S WAR AGAINST HUMANITY. Go to my website to download sample chapters.

    Elaine Feuer
    Author
    INNOCENT CASUALTIES: THE FDA’S WAR AGAINST HUMANITY

  • Andrea Bowen

    Spying has taken away our say for the natural world, our food supply is being threatened as drought is killing corn in Kansas, animals are dying of heat exhaustion here. Please make a truce to save our food supply from extreme heat and US food supply of seafood from becoming oil platforms where King crab, lobster, salmon, shrimp and fish catches would be affected

  • http://none Gordon Lee

    I read stuff about persicution of good doctors and scientists to spite the patients. Firstly, it is a bias attack against patients because we dont make the desitions. Secondly, it is also descrimination and persicution against good doers…good doctors. Third of all, it is something evil.

    There are no words to express my hate, fear, disapointment and feelings of unsertainty and confusion of this. Have you ever had so much anger and fear and not know what to do with it?

  • Michael Baar

    The FDA is simply a tool of the corporations. All FDA members with prior corporate affiliations should resign. Until then, its just another day of being in the hypocrisy business.

  • http://www.wwid.com Jesus Christ

    SHOUT! SHOUT SHOUT SHOUT! SHOUT AT THE DEVIL!

  • Heidi

    Some regulation should be required for the FDA

  • http://www.thepeoplepowerparty.org Carol B.

    The FDA is a terrorist organization working for the benefit of the 1%.

  • christine kennedy

    Sounds like the FDA is out of control and needs some serious investigating. Let’s clean it up – if elements of the FDA are so worried about info leaking – we’ve got a problem.

  • Donna Lenhart

    This is an egregious assault on the freedoms of this nation! FDA, as a government entity and as an organization, you are a shameful embarassment!

  • http://www.metametrix.com Terry Pollock, MS

    It never made sense for a US gov’t agency to reign over BOTH food AND drugs/medical devices. It has become sheer idiocy now, with the revolving door between big pharma and the FDA getting ever wider. In the ’90’s there were invasions of doctor offices by armed FDA agents who confiscated their records, supplements, etc. That was also interfering with the business of healthcare, Congressman Rand.

    Blocking health education and access to true remedies the FDA does very well.
    Whether it is approving killer drugs or seizing someone’s dairy operation, the one thing that the FDA cares not about is your health. Move the food away from the drugs/medical devices and then, perhaps, there can be less conflict of interest and more caretaking of what constitutes real health. Then again, maybe not.

  • http://www.davidicke.com The Dead M3ss3nG3r

    The mainsteam media actually reported on this! Slowly but surely,
    WE ARE WINNING!!!
    It’s only a matter of time before the ruling “elite” become obsolete & we are finally Free to manifest the Paradise that Earth was designed to be! Wow, that rhymed, kind of had a hip-hop feel to it… I need to write a song or poem with that one. In case you guys haven’t noticed yet, there are actually A LOT of underground rappers writing about the Illuminati/new world order conspiracy now!
    .
    Free your Minds…
    GET INFORMED!!!
    (here are 2 other CRUCIAL websites to help Inspire & Empower us towards a victory over these Psychopaths, Inc.!)
    InfoWarsDOTcom
    &
    NaturalNewsDOTcom

    P.S.
    I’m sorry I forgot your name, but I heard you (the ANH guy) on the Alex Jones show (InfoWarDOTCOM) with the Health Ranger Mike Adams (NaturalNewsDOTcom) guest-hosting. GREAT JOB! You were awesome!
    It’s so beautiful how all of the best Information Wariors are working together!
    Keep Fighting the Good Fight!…

    • Pro Earth

      We are starting to see a change in the people…they are waking up! They know its wrong to kill animals and the hurt the earth. FDA needs to stay off the farms – they are not GOD – we live on the earth and as long as we respect the earth then we should be able to grow our own food without these thugs coming in and stealing our money and tossing our food! Keep fighting and signing petitions.

    • True Patriot

      I agree for our media to even report it is a miracle in itself. It proves when we unite we can still get things done.

      Lately all I hear is gloom and doom. It’s what they want, fear enables tyranny to prevail.

      I do not intend to bow to evil tyranny put upon America.

  • coalmine canary

    I wonder if the Patriot Act was involved here? Your thoughts, ANH? Thank you. The Patriot Act has to be repealed.

  • Mark

    The FDA is a terrorist organization