The FDA is a Political Body

Instapundit doesn't want the politics stirred in his FDA contraceptive cocktail:

I don't think the FDA should politicize this issue; I think its decision should be based entirely on safety.
Rather, I think that the FDA should not be making decisions on the basis of politics, but because it is essentially a political corporation, it does and always will.

Now, I'm all for safety, but the safety of a drug depends not just on its chemical properties (which you can figure out in a lab), or how those chemicals support or degrade the functioning of the human body (which you can, more or less, figure out in clinical trials), but on how and when people choose to injest these things (which you can try to guesstimate, but can never actually figure out once and for all).

In the end safety is really about the personal responsibility of using drugs so that their benefit to you outweighs the costs to you. This requires that people make smart decisions for themselves, even if frequently those decisions are "limited" to choosing between the competing advice of teams of doctors.

A genuine role of the FDA is not to remove or limit personal responsibility to the point that people are required to blindly follow its dicta. The role of the FDA, should it have a truly legitimate one, is to review, analyze, and summarize openly all publicly and privately available scientific data, so that consumers and doctors know exactly the effects drugs have had on people in scientific studies and clinical trials.

As a political entity, I doubt that the FDA could ever honestly engage the American public this way...


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This page contains a single entry by Kevin published on April 8, 2005 7:34 AM.

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