Derelict FDA Uses Propaganda Books, Insiders, To Defend Agency That Continues To Cause Needless Harm and Death
by Bill Sardi
Recently by Bill Sardi: Which Nutrition Chart Should You Rely Upon: The RDA, RDI, AI, EAR or DV?
The US Food & Drug Administration is under attack from all sides, from pharmaceutical companies for not approving their drugs fast enough and from consumer groups who say FDA permits drugs to be advertised before broader safety data is available. When needless deaths occur from FDA-approved products, Congress holds hearings, nothing is done, and the FDA continues on, asking for more funds!
Vioxx, an anti-inflammatory drug that killed thousands, is back on the market. Despite the furor over Vioxx-related deaths, researchers maintain that there is still "little evidence to suggest that any of the investigated (anti-inflammatory) drugs are safe in cardiovascular terms." So the march of the death pills continues.
Other problematic drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol) which has caused thousands of cases of liver toxicity (acetaminophen use is the chief cause for liver transplantation), yet the FDA ignores advice to include the antioxidant glutathione with acetaminophen which would negate its toxic effects. Acetaminophen depletes glutathione in the liver. The combined use of oral glutathione or its precursor N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) with acetaminophen would reduce the risks associated with chronic Tylenol use.
Even though the FDA approved NAC as an antidote to acetaminophen poisoning in 2004, it does not mandate inclusion of NAC in acetaminophen products. In fact, FDA does not require any pharmaceutical company to clearly indicate which nutrients it depletes on product labels.
But there are those who defend the FDA, like Joshua M. Sharfstein MD, currently with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene who also served as Acting Commissioner of the FDA and FDA’s Principal Deputy Commissioner from 2009-2011.
Sharfstein says the FDA is a "misunderstood agency." He says "Anyone who spends a month at the FDA will recognize the striking disconnect between the agency and its public image." He goes on to say: "Anyone who has spent approximately 2 years at the FDA, as I have, will wonder what it will take for the agency to be better understood."
There is no public misunderstanding about the FDA. How many dead bodies does it take before the tail is pinned on the FDA donkey?
Caught in the crossfire in the public criticism of the FDA, consumers might drift over to Amazon.com where the top-rated book on the FDA is Fran Hawthorne's hardcover text Inside the FDA: The Business and Politics Behind the Drugs We Take and the Food We Eat, published by Wiley in 2005.
While its title suggests some sort of an expose of the FDA's inner workings, the book is a propaganda book for the agency.
And who is author Fran Hawthorne? Why she is an "award-winning journalist who has been a writer or editor at Fortune, BusinessWeek, Institutional Investor, and other publications. She is the author of three books on health care and investing." In other words, she is part of the medical-industrial complex, not an independent writer. Who gave Fran the assignment to write this book? She isn't telling.
Consumers might want to read are The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It, by Marcia Angell MD, who is former editor at The New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Angell cuts the pharmaceutical industry and its front-man, the FDA, into little parts. The pharmaceutical industry worked to discredit her book immediately upon publication.
Another excellent text is Overdosed America by Harvard professor John Abramson MD. Dr. Abramson has been particularly critical of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs which are marketed to healthy Americans as a way to avert mortal heart attacks, but there is scant evidence statin drugs do that.
Not enough Americans are getting the message, that "FDA-approved" does not ensure safety. However, more and more Americans are not filling prescriptions their doctors write. According to PharmacyChecker.com blog, an estimated 48 million American didn't fill a prescription medication in 2010, a 66% increase since 2001. Much of this failure to fill a prescription is for financial reasons, but there is growing suspicion of drugs and their side effects. We're not just talking about diarrhea or nausea here. We are talking about avoidable death, oftentimes from a properly used FDA-approved drug.
But an estimated 150 million Americans, God love them, take at least one prescription drug, falling for the reigning paradigm that disease is caused by a drug deficiency. No sense making doctors upset — had better take your pills.
And now to share a recent e-mail:
Sent: 9/21/2011 1:02:33 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time Subj: health
I first heard you on the radio in Colorado a few months ago. I ordered the dietary supplement you spoke about and I feel better than I have in 6 years.
Very short history: I have been VERY sick for 6 years. So sick, in fact, that I do absolutely nothing other than work part time. No kid stuff, no house work, no walks, no playing, no grocery shopping, etc, etc, etc. (I am the farthest thing from lazy…very industrious and physically active before I got sick.)
I am a pharmacist and very disillusioned with western medicine.