Monday, November 10, 2008

Rosa DeLauro (or Howard Dean) for FDA Commissioner

Speculation abounds about who Barack Obama will choose for FDA Commissioner. While most pundits are touting Steven Nissen, Joshua Sharfstein or Susan Wood, I support Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) or Dr. Howard Dean for FDA Commissioner.

I oppose Janet Woodcock. She doesn't represent change and she is a favorite of big Pharma. By its nature, the FDA is divided between food and drug issues. I prefer a candidate versed in food issues. Steven Nissen is a good candidate, though I prefer Joshua Sharfstein to Nissen because of his consumer advocacy credentials.

I have mixed feelings about Professor Susan Wood who directed the FDA's Office of Women's Health until her resignation in 2005 over the continued delay in approving emergency over-the-counter contraception. I'm not sure that quitting was the right thing to do when the nation needed voices like hers to see issues through.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is an incredibly effective person who has been able to work behind the scenes for Democrats to change the face of the nation. His 50-state strategy has been successful and he has been a life-long populist and advocate of consumer protection issues.

Roas DeLauro is on the right side of food safety issues and has introduced numerous resolutions in Congress with the express purpose of changing the lax regulatory environment at the FDA. She has recognized that left to its own devices, the FDA would simply choose not to regulate and not to honor its statutory mandate. She has recognized that the agency is underfunded and ineffective. She has led the charge on melamine taint. She is not afraid to speak truth to power and is a reliable friend to food activists.

Rosa DeLauro would be my first choice for FDA Commissioner.

Blog Archive