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Sunday, December 2, 2007

FDA Science Board: Our Flaws Put Lives at Risk

We've been shouting that both FDA and CDC insights are perversely outdated--and insofar as hand sanitizing products, which are now used by 1 in 4 people, both agencies remain in the stone age as they continue to fail to recognize that alcohol-free products, which have been coming to market for the past 3-5 years, are safer and certainly as effective.

Alcohol hand sanitizers like Purell do kill germs, but they also kill industrial floor wax. Wow. If the government agencies don't "get it", at least consumers do, --a message that has resonated with several national retailers, including Target, that are systematically introducing alcohol-free hand sanitizer products

From Dec 1 NY Times..

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 — The nation’s food supply is at risk, its drugs are potentially dangerous and its citizens’ lives are at stake because the Food and Drug Administration is desperately short of money and poorly organized, according to an alarming report by agency advisers.

The report, made public on Friday, is the latest and perhaps most far-reaching in a string of outside assessments that have concluded that the F.D.A. is poorly equipped to protect the public health.

It was written by three members of the F.D.A. Science Board, an advisory panel that reports directly to the agency’s commissioner, Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach. The three authors in turn had 30 scientific advisers.

The report concludes that over the last two decades, the agency’s public health responsibilities have soared while its appropriations have barely budged. The result is that the F.D.A. is falling farther and farther behind in carrying out its responsibilities and understanding the science it needs to do its many jobs.

“F.D.A.’s inability to keep up with scientific advances means that American lives are at risk,” the report stated.

Barbara J. McNeil, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and one of the report’s authors, said she was stunned at the agency’s sorry state.

The agency often misses significant product arrivals because its computers are so poor that they cannot distinguish between shipments of road salt and those of table salt, the report said.

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