INTRODUCTION: "Hope springs eternal in the human breast" ~~~~ In other words, people will always be optimistic and think that something better is coming. From An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope (1688-1744). Pope was referring to people's belief in a life after death:
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest.
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
I am always hopeful, perhaps naively, that the United States Food and Drug Administration will someday extricate itself from the morass of corporate manipulation and strangulation of the proper and reasonable regulatory authority which the American People have conveyed through Congress to the FDA, to protect the American people. That has become increasingly less true, and now, with the revolving door between industry and the FDA, I grow increasingly skeptical that anything real in the realm of consumer protection will ever happen there.
The real litmus test for me is if and when the FDA ever rescinds its approval for the artificial sweetener, aspartame, a proven carcinogen, neurotoxin, and causer of birth defects. Its approval was rammed through in 1981 by no less than Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of the patent holder, G.D. Searle.
The patent then went to Monsanto, and now resides with the Japanese megacorporation, Ajinomoto, also the world's largest maker of yet another proven neurotoxic food additive, Monosodium Glutamate, found in more then ten thousand American food products. FDA's purview over food and drugs concerns at least 30% of the US Economy, so, yes, this is all very relevant to any discussion of Health in the United States.
I focus on what the Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner at the FDA have to say, and what they do, about food quality. Recently, because of a legal action brought under the Delaney Clause, a 1958 law that prohibits knowingly adding a carcinogen to any food product, the FDA rescinded its approval for 7 carcinogenic food additives.
This could be extended into another court action that requires the FDA to rescind its approval for Aspartame. Since the FDA has consistently and steadily swept medical concerns about aspartame under the rug since its approval was forced in 1981, they have made clear that this is not a subject for rational discussion, and that maybe the supreme arbiter of medical quality, the Judicial branch of government, should be the proving ground in which aspartame's removal from the market becomes obligatory.
One huge matter that should be looming on the path to the future for the FDA is that of how do we get rid of Roundup/Glyphosate, Monsanto's ghastly weedkiller, that is showing up in thousands of agricultural products. Talk about causes of cancer! Rescinding approval for it (as well as for Aspartame) by FDA and EPA should be an obvious screaming obligatory priority.
So, then, meet Amy Abernethy, MD, soon to join FDA as Principal Deputy Commissioner.