The Situationist

De-Capturing the FDA

Posted by The Situationist Staff on April 19, 2010

Harvard Law Student, Jason Iuliano, recently posted his forthcoming article, “Killing Us Sweetly: How to Take Industry Out of the FDA” (forthcoming Journal of Food Law and Policy) on SSRN.  Here’s the abstract.

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For more than a century, the Food and Drug Administration has purported to protect the public health. During that time, it has actually been placing corporate profits above consumer safety. Nowhere is this corruption more evident than in the approval of artificial sweeteners. FDA leaders’ close ties to the very industry they were supposed to be regulating present a startling picture. Ignoring warnings from both independent scientists and their own review panels, FDA decision makers let greed guide their actions. They approved carcinogenic sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose while simultaneously banning the natural herb stevia because it would cut into industry profits. This Article proposes two reforms that can end these corrupt practices and take industry out of the FDA. By strengthening conflict of interest regulations and preventing companies from participating in safety trials, the FDA will be able to gain independence from corporate control.

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To download the paper for free, click here.

To review a sample of related Situationist posts, see “The Deeply Captured Situation of the Economic Crisis,” Our Stake in Corporate Behavior,” The Policy Situation of Obesity,” The Situation of Food: The Movie,”Our Situation Is What We Eat,” Larry Lessig’s Situationism,” Big Calories Come in Small Packages,” The Situation of Policy Research and Policy Outcomes,” Industry-Funded Research,” The Situation of our Food – Part I,” “The Situation of Our Food – Part II,” The Situation of Our Food – Part III,” and “The Situation of our Food – Part IV.”

The American obesity paradox is explored at some length by Situationist Contributors, Adam Benforado, Jon Hanson, and David Yosifon, who devoted a sizeable article to the mistaken but dominant dispositionist attributions made regarding obesity and the actual situational sources of the epidemic, including industry capture of regulatory institutions. To access their article, entitled “Broken Scales: Obesity and Justice in America,” click here.

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