retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Michigan), who is on the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is calling on President-elect Barack Obama to appoint entirely new leadership at FDA, saying that the existing “senior FDA employees are too close with the industries they regulate, creating a question of who they are working for."

According to the Journal, “Congressional aides said Democratic officials have discussed naming Janet Woodcock, a longtime FDA official, as interim head after the expected departure of the current commissioner, Andrew von Eschenbach, a George W. Bush appointee. People close to the pharmaceutical industry also have been floating Dr. Woodcock's name as either interim or permanent FDA chief.”

In his letter to Obama, Stupak wrote, “Rep. Stupak wrote, "I would encourage you not to appoint any current senior FDA employee as Commissioner or Interim Commissioner of the FDA."

KC's View:
Purely from a perception standpoint, FDA needs entirely new leadership. In many of the issues related to the food industry, it seems as if it has been far more interested in protecting industry than consumers…not realizing that such an attitude actually hurts business in the long run.