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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5966/abolish-the-fda/

Abolish the FDA

December 2, 2006 by

Not only should we abolish the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, we need to abolish the FDA as well since it recently approved the mass medication of Americans with a harmful substance. According to the American Dental Association, the FDA has now approved dental claims on bottles of fluoridated water which say that drinking fluoridated water may reduce the risk of dental cavities or tooth decay.

Of course, fluoride or no fluoride, a truly free society would have no federal FDA. For more on the FDA see Dale Steinreich. For more on fluoride, see Murray Rothbard’s “Fluoridation Revisited,” or my contribution, “The Fluoridation Question.” Or, if you want a doctor’s opinion, see Donald Miller’s “Fluoride Follies.”


Mike Brewer December 2, 2006 at 4:33 pm

Abolish the FDA? YES, but not for the (trivial) reason cited.

As a professional in the medical device field, I can bear witness to many better reasons.

1. Delay of life saving technologies. I’ve had a product which has already saved lives in clinical trials waiting for FDA approval for 10 years!!! How many have died unnecessarily in that time?
Nobody risks their job in FDA by saying “no”, only “yes”
The review boards are a joke. They consist mainly of your potential competitors!

2. Needless paperwork. At least half of my company’s expenses are directly related to useless compliance with FDA paperwork. The joke here is that it doesn’t have ANY connection to REAL patient safety, just the proper invocation of holy words on endless reports and forms. Maybe the FDA is really a secret cabal? Just kidding…

3. Chilling effect on new products and technologies. Want to make venture capital run away and hide? Say “subject to FDA approval”

4. etc., etc., etc., – I can’t go on, too depressing….. others with stronger constitutions and better writing skills have expressed it better. Carry on the fight, though.

Björn Lundahl December 3, 2006 at 2:45 am

Why the FDA Has an Incentive to Delay the Introduction of New Drugs.

Please go to:


Björn Lundahl
Göteborg, Sweden

Saturdaynightspecial December 3, 2006 at 6:38 am

Our biggest problem: over population, while Bush tried to ban the morning after pill. Yes, make it a crime for anyone trying to tax tobacco.

And lets eliminate the BATF, NSA, CIA, DEA and cut in half the size of every police department, and then we will have a guarantee of some privacy (and safety).

Everyone of us send a box of condoms to the Mexican government to end the massive flow of migration here…our goal is 200 million, not 400 million.

Yes, kill the FDA for any reason (before it kills any of us) We’ll all be more content.

D. Saul Weiner December 3, 2006 at 8:30 am

No doubt there are plenty of good reasons why the FDA should be shut down.

To my mind, the FDA has caused its worst damage by blocking safe, effective, and affordable nutritional approaches to preventing and treating disease. See the link below.


RanDomino December 4, 2006 at 1:11 am

Only if a non-government Food and Drug review board is set up to test these things and confirm that they are safe for public consumption. Otherwise… I read The Jungle; I don’t want to think of it again.

Unregulated food processing… I think I’m going to vomit.

Oh, and as for drugs- What’s worse; a working drug being delayed, or a non-functional drug being approved? Or a working drug with horrible and non-obvious side effects? Are you willing to risk another Thalidomide?

These are known failures of laissez-faire capitalism. There’s no reason to make the same mistakes over and over.

Björn Lundahl December 4, 2006 at 6:02 am

Many people get killed because of the FDA:

From Answers.com:

“This dichotomy was brought to the fore in the early days of AIDS. Noted AIDS author Randy Shilts published a future timeline analysis in the San Francisco Chronicle showing a minimum delay of 20 years to approve the new AIDS drugs and get them to patients. Standard industrial project expediting techniques of identifying critical paths and starting tasks in parallel were foreign to the medical bureaucracy. A massive demonstration by ACT UP and other groups occupied FDA headquarters, hanging a “Silence = Death” banner over the entrance. Afterwards, the “Pert chart” for approval of protease inhibitors and other drugs was given a major rework and procedures introduced for expediting timelines for both normal and compassionate/experimental drug introduction.”

Milton Friedman:

“Friedman theorizes that the harm the FDA causes results from the nature of the bureaucracy and would happen even with the best intentioned and benevolent individuals in charge: “With the best will in the world, you or I, if we were in that position, would be led to reject or postpone approval of many a good drug in order to avoid even a remote possibility of approving a drug that will have newsworthy side effects.” Friedman recommends that the FDA be abolished to remedy the problem.”

Björn Lundahl, Göteborg, Sweden

Rob December 4, 2006 at 6:41 am

“Why the FDA Has an Incentive to Delay the Introduction of New Drugs.

Please go to:


Great article Bjorn.

BTW, are you by any chance involved with or related to the producers of these fine transformers?



Rob December 4, 2006 at 6:49 am

Only if a non-government Food and Drug review board is set up to test these things and confirm that they are safe for public consumption. Otherwise… I read The Jungle; I don’t want to think of it again……

Although I give no credence to Sinclair, I agree. The market would take care of this by itself though; We would likely see one or more UL type private verification facilities. Perhaps insurance company sponsored agencies. And, most significant, retailers who strongly desire customers to improve enough from the medication they sell to continue patronage and even recommend the business to others.

Of course we need to address the licensing restriction of medical practice and the thrid-party pay system as well.

Mark Brabson December 4, 2006 at 9:46 am

Consumer Review agencies will naturally arise in the free market when the FDA is abolished, since there will naturally be a demand for an independent testing and verification service for drugs. This should be allowed to naturally occur via market procedure without any participation or interference from government. They will likely function similar to “Consumer Reports” and other consumer advocates in that they would accept no revenue from drug companies but exist solely on revenue’s from consumer subscriptions. This would keep them effectively neutral and even minded in the evaluation of drugs. Ultimately, however, the consumer should be sovereign. For example, if I choose to use a drug that has known risks, then that should be my choice and my risks. If I want to use an unproven drug that is still in trial stage, that should also be my choice. BTW, drug companies do NOT make money by killing their customers. Most of those deaths arise because of the FDA’s flawed testing procedures and gross inefficiencies.

Mark Brabson December 4, 2006 at 9:50 am


A refutation of “The Jungle”.

Björn Lundahl December 4, 2006 at 12:25 pm



Rob “BTW, are you by any chance involved with or related to the producers of these fine transformers?”


No, I am not involved nor have anything to do with those fine transformers.

I am in the real estate business here in Göteborg.






I work in that building (Stigbergshuset or Wettegrenska huset) that the first, second and third link will lead you to.


Björn Lundahl December 4, 2006 at 12:53 pm

The laws of the Jungle


The use of physical violence and theft are the laws of the jungle i.e. the laws of the state.

Peaceful cooperation between individuals is the law of civilization i.e. the law of liberty and free markets.

Björn Lundahl

Björn Lundahl December 4, 2006 at 1:32 pm

Power And Market, by Murray Rothbard:

“In the free economy, there would be ample means to obtain redress for direct injuries or fraudulent “adulteration.” No system of government “standards” or army of administrative inspectors is necessary. If a man is sold adulterated food, then clearly the seller has committed fraud, violating his contract to sell the food. Thus, if A sells B breakfast food, and it turns out to be straw, A has committed an illegal act of fraud by telling B he is selling him food, while actually selling straw. This is punishable in the courts under “libertarian law,” i.e., the legal code of the free society that would prohibit all invasions of persons and property. The loss of the product and the price, plus suitable damages (paid to the victim, not to the State), would be included in the punishment of fraud. No administrator is needed to prevent nonfraudulent sales; if a man simply sells what he calls “bread,” it must meet the common definition of bread held by consumers, and not some arbitrary specification. However, if he specifies the composition on the loaf, he is liable for prosecution if he is lying. It must be emphasized that the crime is not lying per se, which is a moral problem not under the province of a free-market defense agency, but breaching a contract—taking someone else’s property under false pretenses and therefore being guilty of fraud. If, on the other hand, the adulterated product injures the health of the buyer (such as by an inserted poison), the seller is further liable for prosecution for injuring and assaulting the person of the buyer.”


As Mark Brabson (above post) has pointed out that drug companies do not make money in killing its customers is, naturally, also true.

A drug company does not want to delay a drug. At the same time it does not want to cause injury. The company will lose money and the people behind the company might also risk punishment.

In such an environment and in this imperfect world and on the average, a balance has been reached between risk and profit (usefulness).

Björn Lundahl
Göteborg, Sweden

D. Saul Weiner December 4, 2006 at 2:05 pm

Mark Brabson,

What evidence do you have for the statement:

“drug companies do NOT make money by killing their customers”?

Of course, if a drug company came out with a drug that killed 100% of its customers immediately after consuming it, it is pretty obvious that your statement would be correct. But what about a drug that only increases the mortality rate over a period of many years? Might it not be more profitable for the company to introduce such a drug, if it did not think that its drug would be linked with the increased mortality and the company held liable?

Certainly the tobacco companies have profited from selling their products to customers, some of whom it ended up killing.

Mind you, if a smoker (or drug-taker) wants to take that risk, I would in no way argue that they should be prohibited from doing so.

Saturdaynightspecial December 4, 2006 at 4:14 pm

We need more tobacco and less FDA. You don’t need any statistics, facts, famous novels or experts – just go and buy some chewing or smoking tobacco and then you’ll know the truth.

or try http://www.fff.org and learn why so much government is so bad for our health. if you don’t believe them then try http://www.lewrockwell.com (if you have not)

averros December 4, 2006 at 7:07 pm

D. Saul Weiner wrote:

> But what about a drug that only increases the
> mortality rate over a period of many years?

People in general would trade their longevity for their quality of life (quite possibly improved by such drug). How much of one to sacrifice for another is a personal tradeoff, which only the patient can make, aided by the information given to him by his doctor.

I agreee that the idea that some bureaucrat in Wash. DC can make that decision for all patients is quite idiotic on its face.

Abolishing FDA does not give drug manufacturers the free pass out of jail for manufacturing dangerous substances and passing them as safe – they’ll have to discolse all known dangers, or be found guilty of premediated murder.

Indeed, it is precisely the existence of FDA which gets them off the hook (“But, Your Honour, the experts from the FDA have approved our potion, so we’re certain it is safe!”). And, of course, FDA “experts” bear no penalty whatsoever for approving killer drugs.

Mark Brabson December 6, 2006 at 12:45 pm

D. Saul Weiner:

As long as the drug company discloses any information it is aware of regarding a drug’s effectiveness and long term effects, I can’t see any wrongdoing on their part. Only if the deliberately and willfully suppress information would they be liable.

Current FDA incompetance and simple LACK of long term studies pretty much make it impossible for anybody to know long term effects. Patients taking them should realize that there may be such effects. Even when long term effects are known, the onus is not on the drug company. The doctor and patient make the decision of whether the risks of long term effects outweigh or not outweigh the benefits of the drug. The drug maker is just providing a product. Doctors and patients make the decisions.
Of course, if the drug company deliberately withheld information, then they should be held liable, but only in that case.

Lisa Casanova December 7, 2006 at 7:59 pm

“A working drug with horrible and non-obvious side effects? Are you willing to risk another Thalidomide?”
The FDA is incapable of preventing either of these things. There are many drugs out there with bad side effects, but certain populations of people find the risk-benefit tradeoffs acceptable. And the FDA does not “prevent” terrible things like thalidomide. At most, it delays drugs until you can watch and see if bad stuff happens to other people. No one is entitled to have the FDA use other human beings as guinea pigs so they can decide whether or not to take a drug.

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