Via the NY Times comes word that Senator Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.) and Representatives Henry A. Waxman (California) and Tom Allen (Maine) have introduced a proposal that “would give the Food and Drug Administration power to quickly ban marketing of over-the-counter products linked to potential safety risks.” I tried to do a bill search to find more details (the article is very brief) but had no luck.
Sometimes I feel that if the FDA (or perhaps the lawmakers that keep pushing to expand its power) had their way, you would have to get their permission before putting anything into your body (although that’s basically the point we’re at today). The lawmakers don’t want to quickly ban marketing for OTC products that are dangerous, but rather those that are potentially dangerous. Everything is potentially dangerous (seriously…everything) – you can drink too much water and die. Consider the woman who died earlier this year while participating in the radio contest “Hold your wee for a Wii.” Why should some panel of officials get to decide what is potentially dangerous or not? Sure, many of them are doctors, but that doesn’t make them experts in everything – the risk vs. benefit of any drug or product is going to vary by individual. This is not a “one size fits all” situation, and it shouldn’t be legislated that way. Perhaps one day we will have FDA officials on every corner to hold our hand as we cross the street…it is potentially dangerous, after all.
On a complete tangent, while searching through bills relating to the FDA I came across this gem – “The Domestic Pet Turtle Market Access Act of 2007” (S.540.IS). The bill is attempting to give a little power back to citizens who wish to purchase pet turtles less than 10.2cm in diameter. Glad to see our Congressman are working hard for the things that really matter in life.
Source – NY Times “Proposal Gives More Power to FDA”