Bureaucrats received a kick in the butt this week from Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), the newly elected chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Kennedy slammed the FDA for endangering public health by ignoring science and serving as a puppet for big business.
"The dedicated professionals at the FDA have been pressured to trim their scientific views to the prevailing political winds. These are symptoms of a serious illness, and we should act without delay to provide the cure," the senator said. Kennedy said the committee will hold a series of FDA oversight hearings in early 2007 to force the agency back on track. FDA advocates responded by saying the agency can only become scientifically credible if Congress increases the FDA's budget in order to supplant the millions of dollars it now receives from industry.