May 3, 2006
First FDA Censorship, Now FDA Lies
By James Wilson
DC Downsizers are well aware that the Food and Drug Administration opposes the First Amendment. The FDA doesn't want peer-reviewed scientific studies to be used in advertising without its approval. But should the FDA be trusted as the "guardian of Truth?" Not when it has been caught red-handed doing politics, not science. On April 20, the FDA released a statement claiming "no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use." This statement came as the request of Congressman Mark Souder (R-Ind), a zealous advocate of the War on Drugs. In response, 24 Congressmen from both sides of the aisle sent a letter to the FDA last week. Here's the salient passage:
Why then has the FDA failed to respond to the 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report which concluded that marijuana's active components are potentially effective in treating pain, nausea, the anorexia of AIDS wasting, and other symptoms, and should be tested rigorously in clinical trials? It perplexes us that even though the FDA is responsible for protecting public health, the agency has failed to respond adequately to the IOM's findings seven years after the study's publication date.
In other words, if the Institute of Medicine's report isn't a "sound scientific study," then what is? This exposes the FDA's credibility problem. Like all powerful federal bureacuracies, its function is political, not scientific. The best result of this embarrassing episode is increased public distrust of the FDA, political pressure to "downsize" the agency, and the freedom of Americans to get access to the medicines they need without the permission of Big Brother.
Filed under Health
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