Reform FDA Campaign Overview
The corrupt governmental agency that says it’s “protecting and promoting your health” is directly responsible for the deaths of 50,000 Americans each year. We believe that the FDA is a broken agency that needs a complete reform and restructuring. Join us in calling for a complete overhaul of the US Food and Drug Administration!
In November 2007, the US government released a 60-page report entitled “FDA Science and Mission at Risk.” A more honest title might have been “FDA Science and Mission in Shambles.” Their own words tell the story—and these are direct quotes from the Table of Contents:
- “The FDA cannot fulfill its mission because its scientific base…is weak.”
- “The FDA cannot fulfill its mission because its scientific workforce does not have sufficient capacity and capability.”
- “FDA does not have the capacity to ensure the safety of food for the nation.”
- “The development of medical products based on ‘new science’ cannot adequately be regulated by the FDA.”
Despite this damning report, the government has refused to act and overhaul the FDA. Consider just a few of the agency’s shocking lapses:
- The drugs the FDA approves are so dangerous that they kill 50,000 Americans and send more than 700,000 more to emergency rooms each year.
- A hormone replacement drug has been repeatedly linked to breast cancer—not only increasing the risk of cancer, but also making it more likely that the cancer will advance quickly and prove fatal. Yet FDA has taken no action whatsoever to remove it from the market.
- FDA protects entrenched medical monopolies which pay its bills and hire its employees. Pharmaceutical companies provide a shockingly high percentage of the FDA’s annual budget. According to the FDA, drug companies provide 60% of the agency’s drug review costs; in 2013 they will receive $712.8 million from drug company “user fees.” Federal law makes it illegal for Medicare and Medicaid to do business with “an excluded or debarred entity resulting from serious criminal charges.” The FDA consistently refuses to prosecute major drug companies for wrongdoing so they can keep doing business with one another. Not only that, it is commonplace for former FDA employees to find work with major drug companies.
- An FDA-approved therapy has been linked to jawbone deterioration, jaw death, and potential esophageal cancer. An FDA advisory committee now wants the FDA to limit how long a patient may be on bisphosphonate therapy, but committee members cannot agree on an appropriate time limit.
- The FDA recently released new guidelines that were supposed to guide supplement manufacturers in how to give notification that they were introducing a new dietary ingredient. Instead, they gave a big, fat gift to the pharmaceutical industry—if implemented, the guidelines would force most supplements off the shelves and would drastically raise the price of the ones that remain, contrary to congressional intent.
- It’s not only nutritional supplements that the FDA targets. The agency is also waging war against raw milk. Raw milk has shown to be superior to pasteurized milk in protecting against infection, diarrhea, rickets, tooth decay, and tuberculosis; children drinking raw milk have better growth rates than those drinking pasteurized milk. Yet if it weren’t for the fact that twenty-eight states allow the sale of raw milk, the FDA would ban it nationally.
- The FDA restricts free speech about nutritional supplements and natural products, and censors the communication of legitimate, peer-reviewed scientific research. Research from Harvard suggested that cherries could reduce the risk of heart attack, but FDA did not allow cherry producers, sellers, or manufacturers to talk about that research, and sent a cease-and-desist letter to twenty-nine companies telling them to stop making claims about these health benefits or face fines and jail! The agency forced them to sign a consent decree promising not to share the scientific findings and pushed them to the brink of bankruptcy, all because their websites contained links to the Harvard cherry research.
As you can see, the FDA has essentially become a hired gun for the pharmaceutical industry. The agency is shockingly biased in favor of drugs and against nutritional supplements, and will go out of their way to protect Big Pharma’s profits, overreaching beyond their jurisdiction with disturbing power grabs. These failures affect the health of all Americans.
The agency obstructs medical science and innovation. Good drugs are either not approved or are approved after interminable delays. Even after new drugs are shown to be safe, doctors are not allowed to use them with terminally ill patients whose cases are otherwise hopeless. Instead, the FDA approves a shocking number of extremely dangerous and often addictive drugs—often on the basis of a recommendation by panels whose members include consultants from drug companies that have deliberately suppressed unfavorable scientific drug studies.
What is needed is not incremental reform but complete reform, a thorough overhaul of every part of the FDA. The purpose of our Reform FDA campaign is to persuade the American public and Congress that a total reform of the FDA is absolutely necessary in order to rebuild the American healthcare system and make it once again the envy of the world.
We must persuade Congress to address the comprehensive failure of the FDA. Please sign our Reform the FDA Petition, which we will hand-deliver to Congress! We must collect such a large number of names on the petition that it compels congressional action. We will hand-deliver the petition to congressional leaders and urge them to enact comprehensive FDA reform. Congress already knows that the FDA has serious problems. This petition will help move them to take the urgent action required.