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More on the FDA

In the past, I have made mention that information and rulings from the FDA and similar ruling bodies, including our own TGA are tainted by vested interests. In fact, if I remember correctly, only the last issue, I made the statement: Conflict of interest is the most contagious and virulent disease. Now, a report from USA Today []:

"More than half the experts hired to advise the US government on the safety and effectiveness of medicines have financial relationships with the pharmaceutical companies that will be helped or hurt by their decisions, a USA Today study has found.

These experts are hired to advise the Food and Drug Administration on which medicines should be approved for sale, what the warning label should say and how studies of drugs should be designed.

The experts are supposed to be independent [HUH!!] but USA Today found that 54 per cent of the time they have direct financial interest in the drug or topic they are asked to evaluate. These conflicts include helping a pharmaceutical company develop a medicine, then serving on the FDA advisory committee that judges the drug.

The conflicts typically include stock ownership, consulting fees or research grants.

Federal law generally prohibits the FDA from using experts with financial conflicts of interest but the FDA has waived the restriction more than 800 times since 1998.

These pharmaceutical experts, about 300 on 18 advisory committees, make decisions that affect the health of millions of Americans and billions of dollars in drugs sales. With few exceptions, the FDA follows the committees' advice.

The FDA reveals when financial conflicts exist, but it has kept details secret since 1992, so it is not possible to determine the amount of money or the drug companies involved."

Does anyone really think it is different here with our TGA? Well, yes it is - most of their decisions are hand-downs from the FDA anyway. How else can we legally use Aspartame as a sweetener or Fluoride in our water supplies and toothpastes?

Until next time, as always, may you walk in Health and Light
Richard Cameron

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