Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Will New FDA Head Be Friend Or Foe To Low-Carb?

Lester Crawford, the new FDA commissioner

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Lester Crawford to become the new commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration on Monday.

After months of stall tactics implored by Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York as well as Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, Crawford's nomination was released to the floor and approved on a 78-16 vote.

As acting commissioner of the FDA since March 2004 as well as a previous stint as deputy commissioner, Crawford has gained experience for the position he now holds. However, his tenure at the FDA has not been without controversy, including possible shady money distribution for some of his employees, allegedly coaching one of his employees to help her win a promotion, as well as approving some prescription drugs which have subsequently had to be pulled from the market because of possible health concerns.

While much of the focus of Crawford nomination will be on those issues, I have an even bigger question regarding this new FDA head. Will he be a friend or foe of low-carb?

The FDA commissioner is a very powerful person in Washington and can have a lasting effect on food and drug policy. As those who oppose the healthy low-carb lifestyle continue to voice their concerns even louder in the coming years, Crawford may begin to take heed of these critics and make pronouncements regarding low-carb and the foods people eat on that program enjoy.

Everyone knows the government promotes a low-fat diet via their cherish food pyramid as the way to being healthy (although most people are clueless about what the pyramid recommends), but those of us who are livin' la vida low-carb know better. We are aware that not everyone has the same dietary needs and some people have trouble following a low-fat/low-calorie/portion-controlled diet approach. Low-carb has filled that void for so many people that its effectiveness cannot be ignored.

Will Crawford be a friend or foe of low-carb? The jury is still out on this question. Stay tuned.


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