Sunday, October 22, 2006

Crawford Epitomizes Corruption In The FDA

Most Americans probably have no idea who the commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is nor do they even care since they don't think he plays any part in their lives. But most of us who are paying attention to news and information about health are painfully aware of how the decisions made by the FDA can have a profound impact on our lives more than we even realize.

Last year, I blogged about then-FDA commissioner Lester Crawford, a food safety expert and veterinarian, who had just taken over the reigns at the FDA after serving as acting commisioner for more than two years prior. I openly asked at the time if he was going to be a friend or foe to low-carbers and people who support healthy living.

Well, as quickly as he was confirmed, Crawford suddenly announced his resignation just two short months later and was replaced by Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach appointed by President George W. Bush. Crawford's abrupt resignation was a shock to the FDA, but, as Paul Harvey's signature line goes, now we know the REST of the story.

This NewsTarget article explains that Crawford plead guilty earlier this month to charges of filing false financial disclosure forms and having several obvious conflicts of interest, including his wife owning stock in many companies that are under the FDA regulation--something the federal governments REQUIRES full disclosure of prior to employment. Even worse is the claim by Crawford that he had sold all the stock in those companies prior to taking the head position at the FDA, but that was found to be nothing more than a BIG FAT LIE!

As a result, Crawford admitted to the wrongdoing and will have to pay fines and be placed on probation for the two misdemeanor charges. He still faces a possible two-year prison sentence for his crime. Sentencing is set Jan. 22, 2007.

After the arraignment, Crawford told reporters, "This was my fault and no one else's. Nothing that I have done, I hope, can be construed to affect the integrity of the FDA."

Sorry, but that's too late now Mr. Crawford! This is evidence yet again that the FDA is bought and paid for by the special interest groups who are keeping Americans fat and sick willing or otherwise. You are merely one aspect of that problem and there are many more like you with "conflicts of interest" that need to fess up and step down as you did. What happened to the integrity of public servants in this country? Have we really digressed as a society THAT much?

For the record, the companies that Crawford and his wife STILL owned at least $140,000 in stock in are Pepsico Inc., Sysco Corp., Kimberly-Clark Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and several other companies regulated by the FDA.

Why are these ties to companies that he has a financial interest in so important? Well, one of the actions that Crawford took in his brief stint as commissioner was to act as chairman of an official FDA panel looking into the problem of obesity, including setting forth regulations on the very companies he owned stock in. Tsk, tsk! I wonder what they would have decided, hmmmm? Doesn't this just make you sick to your stomach?

Public health is at great risk as long as corruption like this exists within the confines of an agency like the FDA. This is why I am constantly suspicious of the FDA making such rash decisions that could have long-term consequences on our health. For example, how about their recent decision to allow viruses to be sprayed on our deli meats? Whose best interest was that really about? You have to wonder out loud in light of this latest scandal.

Crawford is merely one of thousands who have passed through the halls of the FDA without a care in the world for the general health of the American people. But he doesn't epitomize the corruption that has become the FDA in modern times.

Lest anyone thinks otherwise, this is not a partisan issue, but rather it's about telling people the truth. Is that too much to ask of our government and health leaders? Stop this needless agenda to protect the economic interests of certain American industries and start showing what harm can be prevented by encouraging people to make basic changes in their diet, supplementation and fitness. For the sake of the children--our future--we must change the way things have been done.

That would be leadership, something we are sorely lacking in the FDA!

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Blogger Science4u1959 said...

And another one bites the dust :) Keep up the good work, Jimmy! Unless people like this are exposed, indeed nothing will change in the Fraudulent Deals Agency.

10/23/2006 10:19 AM  
Blogger Calianna said...

...I am constantly suspicious of the FDA making such rash decisions that could have long-term consequences on our health. For example, how about their recent decision to allow viruses to be sprayed on our deli meats?

Let me get out my crystal ball and see what's in store for us.

[Just kidding about the crystal ball. ;) But it *is* October, and the FDA is scary, so play along with the spooky theme, ok?]

I'm thinking about the e coli problems on our produce, and about the fact that if cattle are grass fed, they don't even have this deadly e coli in their systems to contaminate neighboring produce farms.

What I foresee is a $$multi-million$$ study conducted to figure out what it is in the grass the cattle eat that kills off the e coli in their digestive tracts. Once they figure that out, they'll concoct it in the lab and methodically spray it all over all of our produce. Just to be on the safe side, you see.

Because doing that makes ever so much more sense than actually feeding the cattle their natural diet of grass to prevent the problem in the first place.

Organic produce might be excempt from the anti-e coli spraying, but then every package of organically grown produce would have to be emblazoned with a big florescent sticker warning the consumer that eating it raw might lead to bloody diarrhea and death, so it should be boiled for 30 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 180F.

Mmmmm... Mushy vegetables, anyone?

Now *that's* scary!

10/24/2006 9:21 AM  

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