FDA vs EPA

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This is an amusing article about inter-bureaucracy memos. The FDA currently recommends only limited consumption of fish for pregnant women and children, but is reconsidering this position given the other potential benefits of a fish-rich diet. Some consumer groups welcome such a change, although a spokesman’s statement reveals the tendency of Americans to view FDA recommendations as devine decree that should be blindly followed:

“[This change] just might be the best Christmas present health-conscious Americans could hope for.”

On the other side are environmental groups, the EPA, and… Barbara Boxer who argues for status quo once a regulation [she agrees with] is enacted, except in the face of copious amounts of evidence [that she approves of]:

“FDA should not change anything it cannot back up with the best science, because we know that mercury can cause brain and cardiovascular damage,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee. “FDA should not play politics with the health of our families.”

By definition, the FDA must play politics, but, thankfully, we can still freely choose our own diets (for now). If only the same could be said for our choice in medical treatment.

2:38 pm on December 13, 2008