The very vast subject of the Revolving Doors at the regulatory agencies, particularly the FDA, has always been a serious one, but in the past two years, it has gone from serious to catastrophic. How many people, indeed, will pass away in 2019 as a result of the failed regulatory processes in the agencies, particularly the FDA, the very agencies that were created to protect the American public?
Don't kid yourself: this ghastly imbroglio at the FDA affects every single living American, and much of the rest of the world to boot, at least those nations laboring under the premise that the United States FDA is the most stringent of them all....what a joke~
I will set aside considerations for the moment of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control. Stories about abusive manipulations pop up all of the time pertaining to them as well, but such would be the subject for a small book, and not for a precursory article that would lay the groundwork for future discussions among the few who actually care about such things.
This article is just as much about the varying coverages in the journalistic world, ranging from brilliant and accurate coverage to mere puff pieces by corporate hacks trying to please their sponsors. I have included less of the latter in this compilation.
On a far more optimistic note, please also see my recent article:Monsanto's subpoena on Avaaz is Quashed by Manhattan Judge! by Avaaz's Ricken Patel
Of all of the most visible officials going in and out of the revolving doors within the corporate world and within the regulatory world, none jumps out at me more than the example of Michael R. Taylor.
Who is Michael Taylor? Summarized from Wikipedia's very thorough and candid article on him:
After receiving his B.A. degree in political science from Davidson College and a law degree from the University of Virginia, Taylor passed the bar, and became a staff attorney at the FDA, in 1976, where he was executive assistant to the FDA Commissioner. He was in office in 1981 when Donald Rumsfeld forced through the FDA the approval for Aspartame, one of the dirtiest chapters in the long history of dirty deals at the FDA.
Taylor then worked in private law practice at King & Spalding in Atlanta from 1981 - 1991, one of whose clients was the biotechnology company Monsanto. He established and led the firm's food and drug law practice.
In 1988, he published an article entitled "The De Minimis Interpretation of the Delaney Clause: Legal and Policy Rationale" in the International Journal of Toxicology, which he had presented earlier in December 1986 at a symposium sponsored by International Life Sciences Institute Risk Science Institute, Society for Risk Analysis.
That particular paper was published during the midst of a debate and litigation over federal agencies' interpretation of the Delaney clause, a part of a 1958 federal law that prohibits any carcinogenic chemical from being added in any amount to processed food As analytical instrumentation increased in power and more agents were found to be carcinogenic even at very low levels, the agencies had developed a quantitative risk assessment approach to interpreting the Delaney Clause, which stated that if a carcinogen was present at levels less than 1 in 1,000,000 parts (1ppm), the risk of that carcinogen was "de minimis", and it could be allowed on the market, with absolutely no input or interference from the legislative branch.
In his article, Taylor presented arguments in favor of this approach. Advocates in favor of organic food have criticized Taylor for taking this stance while attributing the stance not to a good faith effort to reasonably regulate, but to an alleged (but very clear cut and obvious) desire to financially benefit Monsanto, which was at that point the #1 manufacturer of aspartame, among other poisons.
On July 17, 1991, Michael Taylor left King & Spalding for the FDA, accepting the newly created post of 'Deputy Commissioner for Policy.'
In 1992, he signed a guidance that milk from cows treated with Bovine Growth Hormone was not required to be labeled. His name is not on the FDA's May 1992 guidance on genetically modified plant foods, but he probably was a co-author.