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Friday, January 8, 2016
CORPORATIONS AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES STILL CORRUPT WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD
In another compromise to the American regulatory system, President Obama is now expected to appoint as head of the FDA Robert M. Califf–a man whose track record exposes him as little more than a corporate puppet.
Robert has become infamous among health conscious circles as a pusher for expedited drug approvals. Having founded the Duke University Translational Medicine Institute, his focus has been on ensuring that experimental and potentially dangerous drugs are pushed into the mass-market as quickly as possible.
Even if you exclude the grant money he received for his work, Robert also profited substantially through an augmented salary from Big Pharma.
As TIME Magazine puts it, Califf is “…contractually underwritten in part by several huge pharmaceutical companies, including Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and Novartis. He also receives as much as $100,000 a year in consulting fees from some of those companies, and from others.”
In other words, Robert is a bought man–a corporate puppet shilling for the highest bidder–the essence of a conflict of interest. Although he was grilled by Senate leaders in November 2015, our “senators” eventually went on their holiday vacation without coming to a final decision. The ultimate choice to appoint Robert to the head of the FDA is still inconclusive.
The revolving door between U.S. regulatory agencies and private companies is nothing new, and examples of corruption abound. Julia Gerberding, formerly of the Center for Disease Control, later went on to become president of Merck’s vaccine division.
During her presidency, a whistle blower named Dr. William Thompson admitted to having destroyed evidence regarding a Merck MMR vaccine and its relation to autism. However, Julia ignored the controversy and refused to take decisive action to address the scandal.
The tampering of research is an integral part of Big Pharma’s business model. Truly empirical, scientific rigor would expose many of the deadly side-effects / alternative health measures that the general public is unaware of. Thus, the industry has been swift in providing large grants to fund university research, which naturally creates a conflict of interest that skews studies in favor of those funding them.
The actual decision to appoint Robert Califf as head of the FDA would only further prove that the revolving door of corruption still spins smoothly.