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BIG PHARMA

Big Pharma and the corporate capture of the FDA and CDC-

 

Big Pharma's track record speaks for itself. They are responsible for the lies, death and addictions related to the opioid crisis that we face today. They price gouge the people, have experimented on people and children around the world and are convicted serial criminals. They do indeed make some lifesaving products but properly assessing their history in essential as humanity moves forward on one hand grateful for what has been offered and has made a world of a difference and on the other hand highly aware of the dirty games Big Pharma plays, the lies they have told, the rampant deception and the fact that their bottom line is profit.

 

I am deeply concerned at the blind faith and undeserved trust that so many legislators and leaders in this state have placed in our federal regulating agencies, specifically the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This is a colossal mistake and has had and will continue to have detrimental impacts until this truth is realized and thoroughly explored and investigated.

 

As a clinical nutritionist and college levels nutrition teacher, I have been tuned into the corporate capture of these federal regulating agencies for many decades. For over 25 years, I have taught my students to heavily scrutinize and question the FDA approval process. The FDA has repeatedly failed the American people, they have not had the best interest of the public at the forefront for a very long time. Unfortunately, they are and have been serving the very same industry that they are tasked with regulating. This is evident throughout their track record including their approval of trans fats (hydrogenated oils), genetically modified foods, aspartame, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and a high number of medications that have been recalled for safety issues such Vioxx, Bextra, Accutane, and many others.  Unfortunately, there is a real lack of safety research, testing and analysis for new products and technologies.  This has been the pattern for quite some time.  Instead of assessing safety first and demanding the evidence, products are thrown into the market and then time and scientific research play out as actual safety is assessed while the public are consuming or using these products.  This is unacceptable and destructive policy, so much unnecessary damage has been done and this model must be reassessed and reevaluated.  I have seen this pattern repeatedly as a clinical nutritionist.  Until this reality is acknowledged and brought to light, damage, high risk and experimentation on the people and our environments will continue to escalate and result in destruction. 

 

When discussing “Big Pharma” minds often wander to either the opioid crisis and the lies that the pharmaceutical industry told in this realm or the price gouging of medication. Maybe some are aware of the experimentation that has happened on children, inmates and people living in India, Africa and Asia.  At this point and for many decades, it is also the case that references to Big Pharma must include the FDA and the CDC because the pharmaceutical and the biotechnology industry are the drivers of these agencies. There is no clear separation at this point. These agencies are heavily funded by this industry and immensely benefiting from industry products such as medications and vaccines. We must broaden our scope with the term Big Pharma and recognize what this actually encompasses today.  Blind faith in the FDA and CDC is blind faith in Big Pharma.

 

There are many glitches and questionable actions including corporate capture and revolving door and conflict of interest situations related to the FDA approval process. These regulating agencies are designed and intended for regulating industry and keeping food and drugs safe through product regulation. One of the most fundamental questions at this point is whether the regulating agencies are serving the people or industry. Both the FDA and Center for Disease Control (CDC) have been brought to the Congressional Government Accounting Office (GAO) multiple times on counts of revolving door policies and conflicts of interest. Thus, another fundamentally ethical and legal question would be: is it acceptable for people working in a federal regulating agency to shift back and forth in employment between the regulating agencies and the corporations and industry in which they are supposed to regulate? It goes on all the time, has been found to be legal but humans are corruptible, as we all know so the question really is, is it ethical and should it be allowed to happen? This has been the case for Michael Taylor, Scott Gottlieb, Julie Gerberding, and Alex Azar among others.  Another relevant question relates to the question of - Is it ethical and should it be legal for these federal regulating agencies to hold patents on the products that they are regulating, such as the CDC holding 57 patents on vaccines and then also determining vaccine schedules? There is a lot to this subject, but it is an important part of the conversation and one that desperately needs to be addressed and discussed as we move forward and try to see the larger picture and the many moving pieces in the current situation relating to public health policy.

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