FDA: Living Long Enough to Become the Villain
You may have heard about the FDA’s recent Deeming Regulations, which impose unreasonable restrictions and fees to the fledgling vaping industry. To understand these regulations, one must see the historical context of the FDA. Watch the video below to learn about the FDA!
A great fictional district attorney once said, “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
This is the story of the FDA: A once noble and necessary institution that has grown into a vile, oligarchic behemoth. The institution meant to uphold public health standards now enrages the public, approves lethal products, and crucifies true innovation.
Let’s start at the beginning:
Before regulation, our food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics were hurting people. Impurities and contaminants were sold freely, and with little consequence to the sellers. Teddy Roosevelt, in an earnest attempt to protect the people, established the Food and Drug Act of 1906.
People kept getting sick: radioactive beverages were sold. A mascara on the market caused blindness. Truly ineffective cures and medicines took credibility from the drug community. Elixir sulfanilamide killed hundreds of people when it was used as a solvent.
In response to these travesties and the subsequent public outcry, FDR expanded the the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938. This meant pre-market scrutiny of food, drugs, and cosmetics, moving forward. This was extremely popular, and justified in light of the chaos caused by unsafe products up to that point.
Today, the FDA regulates more than a trillion dollars worth of consumer goods, and about 25% of consumer expenditures in the USA. This tremendous influence over consumables is an asset for giant corporations and special interests. These behemoths of capital use their wealth and influence to control the regulators, effectively making a monopoly. This is a giant middle finger to the trust-busting regulations Teddy Roosevelt enacted in the early 20th century.
From 1906 to 1992, the FDA’s funding came through the US treasury. Taxes from the American people financed the regulation for the people. In 1992, the Prescription Drug User Fee Act passed, which started taking money from Big Pharma to accelerate the drug approval process. Obviously, a conflict of interest! Now the FDA is bankrolled by the industry it is supposed to regulate. FDA officials have been recently charged with racketeering in violation of RICO laws, and prescription drugs kill over 100,000 people each year. Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, and Monsanto have an enormous influence over FDA regulations.
Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, and Monsanto make products that kill hundreds of thousands of people every year, and they all pour a Lion’s share of capital into the FDA. Talk about wolves in sheep’s clothing!
The more people get sick from FDA-approved products, the more is spent on new drugs, and the more revenue pours into the drug approval process. In 2011, about a quarter of the FDA’s budget came from the drug approval revenue: nearly a billion dollars. This production of unsafe products, machievellian regulation, and engorging plutocratic corporations is a sickening antithesis of what FDA was established to do. They are supposed to uphold public health, for the people.
With this context in mind, are the new anti-vaping regulations a surprise? I think not. Along comes an innovative product that stands to make a change to the status quo. The FDA calls the shots. If vaping is to be a part of the game, we have to pony up the cash. The threatened powers involved in regulation want to protect their vested interest in monopolizing all things consumable.
I hope you’re as angry as I am.
I will end with a quote from Thomas Jefferson, American founding father and he who blows the trumpet for the common man:
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”