Reps attack FDA; call for Obama to “clean house”
By Nick Taylor, 26-Nov-2008
Members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce have said that recent actions by the FDA have been politically motivated and insufficient, although they did acknowledge the moves were necessary.
The statement was issued by Representatives Bart Stupak and John Dingell in response to actions taken by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the politicians claim to have been calling for over the last two years.
Despite belatedly initiating the actions they called for, Stupak and Dingell do not relent on the FDA, saying further efforts are needed and questioning why the agency chose to act now.
Dingell said: “Over the course of our investigation, the Committee has found that FDA not only failed in its basic mission, but refused to admit its failures and take steps to protect Americans from unsafe food and drugs.
“Now, the policy chieftains at FDA are scrambling to convince the new Administration that they are willing to do what they have failed to do for the past eight years.”
The actions Stupak and Dingell refer to are the issuing of warning letters in late October to Bayer regarding the marketing of aspirin combination products Following this in the first two weeks of November the FDA seized contaminated heparin from Celsus Laboratories and requested an injunction stopping Actavis from manufacturing generic drugs at the Little Falls, New Jersey facility.
These actions are regarded as “posturing” by Stupak, who believes political appointees in the FDA have acted now in an attempt to retain their positions under the new Administration.
He calls for the Obama administration to “clean house” in the FDA, installing new political appointees who will “bring change to an agency that badly needs it.”
Stupak’s dislike of the some senior elements of the FDA is based on investigations he and Dingell have performed over the last two years.
He claims to have found that: “The Bush Administration’s political appointees and high-level FDA bureaucrats have lined their pockets with outrageous bonuses, while neglecting the agency’s core mission of protecting Americans from contaminated food and unsafe drugs.”