If you have ever wondered why the FDA favors Big Pharma and is constantly attacking the health food industry, perhaps it is because the people that are in charge of the FDA have had close ties and have earned a lot of $$ from the pharmaceutical industry. Most recently — Dr. Robert Califf was nominated by the FDA to become their new FDA commissioner. The FDA’s website, shows he has impressive credentials. He has also been an FDA Deputy Commissioner since February 2015.
However, what the FDA website does not reveal about Dr. Califf is what the N.Y. Times reported – “he has deeper ties to the pharmaceutical industry than any FDA commissioner in recent memory”:
* The Clinical Research Center he ran at Duke University received the majority of its multi-million dollar budget from Big Pharma.
* According to financial disclosures from last year, Dr. Califf received money for consulting with at least seven drug and medical device companies, and six other companies at least partially underwrote his university salary, including Merck, Novartis, and Eli Lilly.
* The conflict-of-interest section of a paper he wrote for the European Heart Journal last year lists financial support from more than twenty companies.
Dr. Califf’s nomination recently cleared the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and is now headed for a full floor vote. Three Senators have placed holds on his nomination: Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), and Ed Markey (D-MA), with Bernie Sanders being the only one to do so based upon Califf’s obvious potential conflict of interest in regulating the companies that have been paying him.
Take Action – You can send a message to your Senators by using the ANH-USA form requesting them to block Dr. Califf’s nomination as FDA Commissioner. Be sure to add your name and address at the bottom of the form letter before hitting send.
Welcome to the world of Big Pharma … just in case your thought that everyone was playing fairly and looking out for your best interests. They aren’t.
Aside from this token resistance, there is not much else that you can do. So I would just put on my tank and go searching for the colorful shells of sea scallops. Just make sure to have the camera focused, the strobes at the right power setting, and depth of field just right … and remember to breathe.