Do me a favor and read the article first. When you are done come back here and we can talk.
Ok, so, you took the time to read the article, right? Take a close look at the closing section entitled “Sympathy for the FDA”?
I have friends who strongly believe that the FDA simply needs to be abolished. I can understand their feeling like that, but I feel quite differently about the FDA. It is true that I do not approve nor appreciate their recent actions against natural food producers and homeopathic remedy companies, but, much as I do not approve of these actions I understand why they feel the need to perform them.
I am a firm believer in the role that the FDA has been mandated to perform by Congress. The mandated objectives are very important, and really do need an agency that oversees them. The problem is that Congress has mandated such broad terms and objectives for the FDA, and has not gone the additional, and much needed step of properly supporting an agency with a mission as vital and as important as the the Secret Service or the FBI. The FDA has very limited resources with which to accomplish nearly impossible objectives. If you were in their shoes how would you utilize these extremely limited resources? Would you spread yourself so thin that you are essentially ineffective at accomplishing any of your objectives, or would you engage in actions that encouraged those that you are mandated to oversee to self police themselves more? Clearly the FDA has tried both options, and is now actively engaged in the second one.
I think that we can all agree that this is a problem, so what do we do to fix this problem? Some argue that the FDA should simply be eliminated, but what happens if this is done? No regulation on safe food or drug practices, nor inspection of these substances coming into our country. Like it or hate it, the FDA serves a vital role in public safety. So, rather than eliminating it I propose that we actually stand behind it and work to get it the resources that it needs to fulfill its mandated mission.
First, I believe that we need to encourage increased funding to the FDA so that it can actually do what it is supposed to do. Second, we need to encourage the restructuring of the FDA and create specialized divisions to handle specific roles dictated within the mandate handed down by Congress. Third, I believe that we need to allow the FDA to hire sufficient qualified resources to accomplish their mission. Maybe if they have the resources, both in funding and in qualified manpower they can actually accomplish their mission properly without having to engage in what are essentially terrorist activities to scare the industry into self-policing itself since the FDA doesn’t have the resources to do that themselves.
So, that addresses a majority of the problems that we have with the FDA, but it hasn’t touched on one very important problem that exists, and that is the bias toward big business and big pharmaceutical companies. As the writer of the above article stated, this is currently an inevitable side effect of the trading back and forth of leaders within the community. The only possible solution to this is in making high level positions Congressionally appointed positions, but that adds another nightmare level to things that I really don’t want to consider at this time.