Monday, August 23, 2004

FDA Smackdown

Recently I wrote a post citing an editorial from the journal, The Lancet. In that post, I commented that The Lancet  is a fairly conservative journal, as most medical journals are. Yet, in that same issue, there was a blistering critique of the Bush Administration, in a different editorial, about a different topic:

Ejecting the FDA from the courtroom
The Lancet, Volume 364, Number 9435, 21 August 2004

Despite a traditional Republican belief in limited government, the administration of US President George Bush seems curiously tilted towards increasing governmental intrusion into health affairs. Its fixation on the doctrine of separation of powers among the three branches of government (witness the White House's initial refusal to allow the National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, to testify before the 9/11 commission; it argued that the legislative branch cannot coerce the executive) is apparently a flexible one. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a part of the executive branch, is now taking an activist role in judicial matters. [...]

Their use of the term "activist," in this context, contains a certain understated irony; it's a good example of classic British humor. It's a serious matter, though. If, indeed, the Administration wants to reserve the right to be critical of the judicial branch, on account of alleged "activism," then they need to clean their own (glass) house first. Of course, if they had their way entirely, it would not be a glass house: transparency would be a thing of the past.

Rant tangents aside, what is the beef that they are getting on about?  Read the rest at The Rest of the Story