Saturday, September 24, 2005

FDA Resignation Is Golden Opportunity For Bush

Just two months after accepting the position to become the commissioner of the Food And Drug Administration (FDA) after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Lester M. Crawford suddenly announced his resignation on Friday.

"It is time at the age of 67 to step aside," Crawford wrote in an e-mail to colleagues.

FDA officials were informed by Crawford of his decision to step down in that e-mail and a letter was sent to President George W. Bush announcing his resignation is "effective immediately." Rumors abound about why Crawford decided to give up a post he only recently took on. But many believe it was because of a personal issue that is a private matter with Crawford himself.

Regardless, Secretary of Health And Human Services Michael O. Leavitt accepted Crawford's resignation and was grateful for the time he had contributed at the FDA, including a one-year stint as acting commissioner prior to being appointed and confirmed in July.

Laying aside the politics about why Crawford stepped down, I believe this is an opportunity for us to make our voices heard about a very important role in the United States government. President Bush has named National Cancer Institute Director Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach to become acting FDA commissioner until one can be appointed. We need a very strong nominee to step into this position and be the leader on issues regarding food and drugs.

Because the FDA Commissioner plays such an integral role in food and drug policy in the United States, we need someone who is open-minded about the obesity issue and is willing to look at every available option for getting this growing problem under control. That is what I was hoping we would see out of Crawford when I first blogged about him in July.

While the FDA does not directly deal with the subject of obesity, it can certainly help shape and mold the way Americans deal with their weight problem by encouraging food policies that encourage people to lose weight and keep it off for good. We also need an FDA head who will not allow international regulatory groups such as Codex Alimentarius to infiltrate their radical agenda into the United States.

This is a golden opportunity for President Bush to name someone who fits this criteria. People who support the low-carb lifestyle need to let the president know that we want an FDA Commissioner who respects not only the low-fat/low-calorie/portion-controlled diet approach, but also one who acknowledges the healthy benefits of the high-protein/high-fiber/low-carb plan for a lifetime of weight maintenance.

Political analysts believe the FDA will be without a commissioner for a while since the nominee will need to have the support of a majority of United States Senators to be confirmed. However, because the FDA deals with so many controversial issues, history shows it has been very difficult to find a consensus nominee who can be confirmed quickly.

This Washington Post editorial expresses the opinion that President Bush should nominate a candidate for the FDA Commissioner position as soon as possible.

"President Bush should move quickly to nominate -- and the Senate should, after careful consideration, confirm -- a commissioner with staying power: someone with the scientific expertise, management abilities and strength of character to do one of the most important jobs in government."

I could not agree more.

Contact President Bush today and urge him to nominate a strong candidate to become the new FDA commissioner who has the experience and the willingness to handle the responsibility of this high-profile government position.

You can write a letter to President Bush at the following address:

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

You can also call the White House with your comments at 202-456-1111 or fax them to 202-456-2461. And, of course, you can e-mail the President at

Stand up on behalf of the low-carb lifestyle and make your voice heard TODAY!


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