When my kids were babies I bathed them, cared for them, when they were sick I brought them to the doctor and made sure they were vaccinated. Now decades later we learn that the cold medicine we gave our children was dangerous,  the shampoos, lotions and powders we used were and still are laced with hazardous chemicals and the vaccinations our pudgy little babies were injected with contained mercury and heavy metals.

Brilliant.

I’m sorry exactly what is the function of the FDA?

Oh, that’s right they’ve partnered with American industry to sell U.S.  products in a global economy. What few consumer protections we had are now about as useful as a budget in the hands of President Bush… errr Mr. President, I think you have it upside down… Yeah, that way.”

Don’t get me wrong, these issues have been around since the agency’s formation but at least they once pretended to give a shit about consumers and public health. Now they just seem to be saying “don’t be such a weenie, buck up and take the chemo it’s good for the pharmaceutical industry.”

We can replace our President, our Senators, our Congressmen but what has to happen to our families before we stand up and demand that the American government agencies commissioned to protect consumers, actually include that in their job descriptions.

A Sliver of FDA History:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services currently led by Michael O. Leavitt. The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is a Cabinet department of the United States government whose goal is the protection of the health of all Americans and providing essential human services.

 On January 2, 1970  the San Francisco Chronicle quoted the FDA’s former Medical Director Dr. Herbert Ley, as saying “The thing that bugs me is that people think the FDA is protecting them. It isn’t. What the FDA is doing and what the public thinks it’s doing are as different as night and day.” 

While our consumer protections have eroded to nothing we have simultaneously lost our Home Ec. teachers and Consumer Science classes in many schools. And it comes at a time when being an educated consumer is a necessary fact in the lives of Americans.

The following is a list of resources I hope you find helpful.

Skin Deep is a website launched in 2004 by the Environmental Working Group that rates the hazard level of chemicals used in cosmetics and baby products.

Political Friendster lists industry funded front organizations that are often used to sway public opinion under the guise of being unbiased.

Center for Science and Public Interest rates the safety of food additives citing researching.

Who Represents Me provides links to your state and federal legislators, all you need is your address and zip-code.

Article: The FDA Fails to Protect Americans from Dangerous Drugs and Unsafe Foods: Agency Captured by Industries It Should Be Regulating.

Did you know: Of 11,000 employees, the FDA tasks a grand total of four people at headquarters to police food labels.

Pissed in the Pond,

Brooke Trout

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