Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Heroes: The FDA Is Cracking Down!!!

As much as I applaud the FDA's action, I worry about it. Powerful forces are arrayed against it, forces embodied by legislators like Congressman Ron Paul, champion of the DSHEA and many other "health freedom" measures; Congressman Dan Burton, the best friend of antivaccinationists and "alternative" medicine in all of Congress; and Senator Tom Harkin, whose love of woo and boosterism for it got the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) started as the embryonic Office of Alternative Medicine, whose continued attention fertilized it so that it grew into the $120 million a year behemoth that it is now, whose interference forced the NIH to fund useless and unethical clinical trials, including an unnecessary, poorly designed, and unethical trial of chelation therapy to the tune of as much as $30 million, and whose patronage continues to protect NCCAM from attempts to downsize or eliminate it. It would not surprise me in the least if this unholy trio of woo banded together to attack the FDA for "overreaching" and attacking "health freedom"--or even trying to reduce its budget or rewrite the law to hamstring the FDA and make crackdowns of this nature much harder, something that Republicans tend to like to do in general because of their philosophical belief in small government and less regulation. True, there is less of a chance of their being successful now, given that Ron Paul and Dan Burton are Republicans and Congress is currently controlled by the Democrats. Indeed, it makes me wonder if the FDA has decided that Barack Obama is likely to be the next President. Either way, cracking down like this is a risk. Woo-friendly legislators might well try to punish the FDA for its action.

My speculation aside, the FDA crackdown is a good start but doesn't go nearly far enough.


Orac, on the problems, and individuals, facing new FDA measures to stop bogus cancer cures, for Respectful Insolence.