Do you remember the time you got on board with libertarianism? I remember it clearly. The Libertarian Party intrigued me, but some of the bureaucracies they opposed seemed important. Then I saw one of their presidential candidates, back in the old days when the party ran  actual Libertarians rather than failed Republicans.

Aspirin pills.He made the case against the FDA. He explained how aspirin comes from before we had an FDA. The problem is it causes birth defects and serious gastric lesions in most animals, making it the FDA-mandated animal models for drug toxicity. Never mind the fact humans don’t get the same reaction: the FDA would never let it go to human trials.

He also explained how the FDA has a perverse incentive to keep life-saving drugs off the market. If the FDA allowed a drug and thousands immediately die (let’s pretend drug companies would be that stupid) then it would be a scandal: Congressional hearings, FDA bureaucrats losing their jobs, and so on. But if the FDA delays a safe drug for five years, and 10,000 die annually from lack of access then there is silence.

I walked into the speech believing the FDA was a vital government function. I walked out of the speech convinced even the FDA is a failure and signed my Libertarian Party membership card on the way out.

More FDA Drug Failures

FDA approved drug. Warning: contains FDA approved drug.So is the FDA any better keeping us safe today? Turns out it still isn’t. A recent news story reminded me of that day when my faith in the FDA was sunk. Even with all the alleged safeguards and bureaucracy, a study came out a few months ago and found 1 in 3 FDA approved drugs end up having unexpected side effects, including cancer and death. Oddly, an FDA bureaucrat claimed that the fact such complications occur after approving drugs is proof of the FDA’s success.

One of the more interesting points made is: “Drugs brought to market through ‘accelerated’ approval were slightly more likely to have later safety issues than those approved through conventional channels, a link seen in some previous research.” I can’t find data on how much time the accelerated review saves, but if the only value of the regular bureaucratic hoops is “slightly more” safety issues then it sounds like a pretty wasteful process that’s merely delaying when truly helpful drugs can be made available without doing much of anything to stop the unsafe drugs.

I oppose medical marijuana. It's a dangerous gateway drug. But I'd be happy to refill your oxycontin!The FDA’s main purpose in drug regulation appears to be serving the will of the drug companies. There is bipartisan FDA support for giving their cronies in the Big Pharma cartel monopolies and refusing to allow foreign imports to compete. No wonder drug prices are out of control and unaffordable! And of course there’s the FDA (and DEA) preventing research into potentially legitimate medical uses of politically maligned drugs like marijuana.

Lastly, while actively facilitating the drug monopolies in screwing over the whole country, they use their threats of violence to shut down an Amish farmer for selling herbs.

Poisoning Food for Corporate Profits

But maybe the FDA is at least keeping our food safe?

No. You can read my previous blog on how a $48,000 bribe to the FDA resulted in bad nutritional recommendations that have killed more Americans than illegal drugs and war.

Just Mayo: vegan company sued for using the word "Mayo."

But enjoy your FDA-blessed pink slime.

They are still continuing this tradition. At the behest of the politically connected corporation that makes Hellmann’s mayonnaise, the FDA recently tried to shut down a mayonnaise company for the sin of not using eggs. Never mind that omitting the eggs actually made it a healthier (or maybe “less unhealthy”) product than Hellmann’s: fewer calories, less saturated fat, and less cholesterol. Eventually Hellmann’s backed off due to the bad publicity and also “coincidentally” the FDA stepped down. I’m sure that the FDA’s attack and subsequent backing down wasn’t at the behest of Hellmann’s and was purely coincidence.

On the other hand, the FDA is still trying to trick us into eating more high fructose corn syrup, one of the deadliest products in your grocery store. At the behest of the politically connected Corn Refiners Association, the FDA is allowing companies to list this deadly ingredient as simply “natural sweetner.” You can read more about that here. While some libertarians oppose even food labeling laws, hopefully we can all agree that if such laws exist then they should at least be designed to inform the consumer with truth rather than tricking him into buying poisons produced by the politically connected crony capitalists.

So there you have it: the FDA tried to save you from healthier vegan mayonnaise while tricking you into consuming more of deadly fructose corn syrup. It’s depressing enough to make one want to take some FDA-approved selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressants.

The world according to the FDA and DEA. Marijuana is evil! Zero deaths in history. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor happy pills! 40,000 deaths a year mostly by suicide.