On July 11, 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 2900, blocking debate on the law and preventing the introduction of any amendments that might have provided meaningful drug safety protections for consumers. This action demonstrates that the House of Representatives, much like the Senate, is utterly controlled by Big Pharma and has abandoned any responsibility to defend the interests of the voters. Drug companies now have complete control over the U.S. Congress, and through a campaign of intense lobbying and financial influence, they have managed to easily water down a law that once proposed to end the American monopoly on pharmaceuticals and ban advertising on new drugs.
Instead of placing new restrictions on Big Pharma and the increasingly dangerous power of the FDA, this new law (a combination of HR.2900 and S.1082, when it is hammered out in conference) grants more power to the FDA while deepening the financial ties between the agency and drug companies. The law effectively surrenders America to a system of medical tyranny under which a criminally-operated FDA will continue to promote pharmaceuticals, censor nutritional education and discredit alternatives that threaten drug company profits. Nothing in the new law protects consumers' access to dietary supplements or natural medicine.
Got a law? Make it weaker
The House version of the bill is stronger than the Senate version in terms of drug safety issues, but these differences could easily disappear in conference, leading to a final signing of a useless, watered-down "FDA safety" bill that is actually nothing more than an FDA corruption rewards program. (It's better than a frequent flyer program because the miles never expire and there are no blackout dates...)
While the House version would require the publishing of a clinical trials database (which shouldn't even be debatable, it should be full disclosure by default) and limit the number of bribed FDA officials who can sit on a drug decision panel to one, even these provisions are laughable in the fact that none of them actually require drug companies or the FDA to act with integrity or defend the health and safety of the American public.
The great Congressional sellout
Congress had the potential to pass a really good law here — one that would have ended direct-to-consumer advertising, banned conflicts of interest at the FDA, required the open source publication of drug trials and ended the U.S. monopoly on pharmaceuticals. Instead, Congress chose to do none of these things. It staged a song and dance about "FDA reform" while selling out the future of America's health to a tiny but powerful group of ultra-wealthy corporations that now virtually rule this country. There is nothing in the new law worth celebrating unless, of course, you are the CEO or major shareholder of a Big Pharma corporation, in which case you will like be stunned at just how cheaply and easily U.S. lawmakers can be bought.
Notice, too, that this sellout crosses party lines and involves both Democrats and Republicans. Only one Congressman, Rep. Ron Paul (a Libertarian-leaning Republican), was attempting to introduce meaningful amendments that would protect the interests of the people. His efforts were blocked by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat.
FDA reform legislation is not about Democrats vs. Republicans. It's about the wealthy elite vs. the People. Not surprisingly, the People have once again been screwed by the representatives they foolishly voted into office. If anything, this event proves that U.S. lawmakers have no interest in protecting America's future. They are only interested in the next election, the next career move or the next power play. In a nation devastated by degenerative disease and intoxicated by the chemicals being pushed to manage those diseases, there is no longer anyone left in power with enough sanity to reason with. The President is clinically insane, the FDA is criminally insane, and the Congress is for sale, cheap! The country has become an absurdity, where lawmakers actually bicker about how much bribery and corruption should be allowed in the FDA drug approval decision process rather than simply agreeing to ban all bribery and conflicts of interest, which is what sane lawmakers would do.
Stand back and watch the bonfire
Over the last few months, I have come to the conclusion that it is no longer worth attempting to stop American's self-destruction at the hands of Big Pharma, corrupt politicians and greedy fractional reserve bankers. America is destroying itself, and there is no one left who's willing to stand up and try to stop it (except, perhaps, for a few individuals like Rep. Ron Paul, but he's effectively censored by the powers that be).
My advice to readers is to start thinking very seriously about getting out of America. What's coming over the next 5 - 25 years will not be pretty, and I now believe the collapse of America as we know it today is inevitable. The 2008 elections will change nothing, as either party will only deliver a different form of tyranny in the end. America has devolved into a modern mirror image of the Roman Empire in its last dying days — steeped in corruption, abandoning its citizens, arrogant beyond all reason, oblivious to the world around it and wholly committed to destroying itself from within.
Congress has become a circus, and the U.S. government, through agencies like the FDA, has become the leading threat to its own people. The nation is steeped in irreversible debt, diseased, terrified, bankrupt and addicted to oil that's running out. On top of that, thanks to Bush-contrived military imperialism, it has alienated every other nation in the world and has now become the most-hated nation on the planet. (If you don't believe me, just travel outside the U.S. and ask practically anybody you meet. Everybody hates the U.S.) It is now only a question of how long the current crippled facade of political power will last.
The passage of this FDA reform law is merely one more sign of how thoroughly committed the U.S. Congress is to creating a future of death, disease and bankruptcy for the American people. You gotta give 'em kudos on consistency, however. At least the lawmakers are predictable.
Welcome to the United States of Big Pharma.
Comments by Byron Richards
On Wednesday, July 11, 2007 the House passed HR.2900 without allowing the Ron Paul (R-TX) amendments to protect dietary supplements. Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), John Dingell (D-MI), Henry Waxman (D-CA), and others falsely proclaimed that they were doing America a favor by passing this sweeping FDA-supported legislation that grants the rouge agency more power and money, and even transforms it into a quasi drug company.
Both the House and Senate (S.1082) have made the fatally flawed assumption that the reason for so many deaths and injuries from drugs was due to the FDA's lack of resources. In reality, it is the INTENTION of FDA management that is the problem, combined with the simple fact that multiple drugs are extremely toxic and don't work as advertised. Giving the FDA more power and money will only cause the agency to speed more drugs onto the market faster with even less safety testing — while abusing its power and actively stamping out competition to drugs.
FDA management is in bed with Big Pharma and this new legislation makes matters significantly worse through the creation of the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA. This new entity places the FDA in charge of drug design, drug patents, drug licenses, and the creation of new marketing entities/companies. Such a relationship with private industry is an unprecedented conflict of interest, totally at odds with drug safety. The current commissioner of the FDA, Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D. is little more than a Big Biotech sales rep with massive industry connections.
The House, like the Senate, will continue to allow direct to consumer advertising of new drugs with unknown risks — a flagrant safety risk that will cost many people their lives. Congressional leaders said they couldn't prevent this advertisement for fear of violating the first amendment rights of drug companies. What a joke. The FDA routinely squashes the first amendment rights of American citizens to understand natural health options and the science that explains how they can prevent and treat disease. Thus, the first amendment argument is simply a matter of convenience. The FDA wants to actively suppress information that will help people, yet allow highly risky and misleading promotion of toxic substances often for untested uses. The FDA even wants to prevent citizens from suing drug companies when they are injured, thus protecting Big Pharma. FDA tyranny, based on this type of arbitrary and unrestrained exercise of power, is used to promote and protect the pharmaceutical industry while at the same time undermining the dietary supplement industry.
Both the House and Senate think it is completely fine that the drug industry pay the FDA fees so that the FDA can approve new drugs faster. Indeed, the FDA and Big Pharma met 112 times to work out their partnership before the FDA let Congress know what it wanted to see in HR.2900 and S.1082. This is like paying the mob for protection. A careful look at the history of the FDA shows it is little more than a bully that protects vested interests at the expense of human health. It is a pitiful agency. It is little wonder than the majority of Americans don't trust the FDA.
Big Pharma owns the FDA and Congress. The drug industry sees FDA management and Congressional leaders as a training pool for future Big Pharma jobs — based on how well Big Pharma is supported. There will certainly be plenty of rewards to pass out after this legislation becomes law.
It is a sick situation that this new fake safety legislation provides the FDA with unprecedented new power to stamp out competition to drug companies as well as expose Americans to far greater safety risks than ever before. Provisions within the legislation that creates the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA will allow the FDA to remove any dietary supplement from the market based on its whim.
It is now only a matter of time and a formality before HR.2900 and S.1082 become law. There will be a little bit of haggling in the conference committee, as Big Pharma will takes its last chance at watering down any meaningful reform (of which there is very little). Big Pharma will whine that this legislation is too tough on them, which is a fallacy. This legislation is the Big Pharma dream come true. In a football analogy the only question is the final score. Will Big Pharma win by 28-7 or will it win by 42-7. Big Pharma has just cleaned the clock of Americans. We should not forget the gutless Congressional puppets that made it happen.
A new tone has been set. A new chart has been plotted. Congress has transformed the FDA into a quasi drug company with unprecedented new regulatory power to control all health options in America. How many deaths and injuries will it take for a comatose and medicinally-overdosed public to wake up?
About Byron Richards
Byron J. Richards, Founder/Director of Wellness Resources, is a Board-Certified Clinical Nutritionist and nationally-renowned health expert, radio personality, and educator. He is the author of Mastering Leptin, The Leptin Diet, and Fight for Your Health: Exposing the FDA's Betrayal of America.
Richards encourages individuals to take charge of their health, stand up for their health rights, and not blindly succumb to propaganda from the vested-interests who profit from keeping Americans sick. As founder of Wellness Resources, Inc. of Minneapolis, MN, an independently-owned fine-quality dietary supplement company since 1985, he has personally developed 75 unique nutraceutical-grade nutritional formulas. www.wellnessresources.com
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Comment: This is a very strongly worded libertarian view. Many in the dietary-supplements field are libertarians. Some aspects of the dietary-supplements industry are seen as snake oil; however, there is no doubt that for the most part, Big Pharma, as it is called, is driven by profits. Michael Moore could just as easily have made a movie about Big Pharma as the terrible private health-insurance industry in the U.S. It's compassionless (capitalism).
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