The FDA, Commission E, and the Nazis

I thought of this little example to show that good government is a gamble.

Currently, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is a great example of horrible government. They get more than half of their operating budget from drug companies that are seeking FDA approval. Essentially everything people worry about without regulation of drug companies has happened under the FDA, because all the companies have to do is pay to play. There are plenty of dangerous drugs approved, and countless safe alternatives nixed, or simply not reviewed by the FDA. Big pharmaceuticals win by paying off the government, the little guy loses by having unsafe drugs on the market, or not getting their safe drug approved.

Commission E is Germany’s version of the FDA. They have reviewed hundreds of natural herbs to determine their effectiveness against diseases and ailments, and recommend when to use the herbs, in what way, and how much to use. This does not make Commission E money, they do it because that is their task as a government agency.

These are two government agencies, from two different governments. The FDA has become corrupt, wasteful, and harmful to the general public of the USA, while Commission E appears to be relatively neutral, and has helped people by suggesting natural cures. Neither one of them has much to worry about in the way of consequences for being wrong. Neither organization must meet the demands of the consumer. Each simply rely on the political process to make them work. Sometimes this proves affective, sometimes it proves disastrous.

But notice my example of good government comes from Germany. If you will recall, just 70 years ago the German government had started a global war, was wreaking havoc across Europe and Africa, was systematically murdering millions of Jews and Gypsies, and would leave its dark mark on the world for at very least, decades to come. Government can help people by recommending the proper herbs to eat and use in natural healing. It can also carry out genocides. But it is going to take a hell of a lot of cured sick people to make up for the tens of millions of lives ruined by the not-so-distant-past German government.

It is not impossible for government to do something good, but the odds are against it. And the good it does seldomly outweighs the bad it does.

handpills

At least in the private sector a business must attract customers and investors; corruption is unattractive. And guess what, much of what was publicized by Commission E was research already done in the private sector.

The difference between the depths to which a government can go, versus a business, is simply that a government can monopolize and kill competition with force. Without government for hire, businesses cannot do the same. If they care about their bottom line, engaging in mafia style tactics will be too costly on a scale as large as government does it. Even if they did try to bully their way to the top, the company’s reputation would suffer too much (and profits slip too much) to be able to establish monopoly control over the media, law enforce, justice system, and consumers. The only reason they can do so now is by using the budget of the United States government (almost $4 trillion each year) to do the policing, spew the propaganda, prosecute the enemies, “lose” the criminal file on the cronies, deregulate their business, over regulate their competitors, or force the public to buy a product.

And without a single government agency to pay off for approval (the FDA), it would be difficult for a company to buy good reviews from the hundreds of competing online and in print publications, organizations, and non-profits who evaluate drugs, and publish findings on healing remedies. The market for information would bring to light the risks of certain drugs, and turn profit from selling information on positive natural alternatives. Competition among these groups would keep the information reliable, and advertisers would keep the information cheap.

The point is that government can do good things, but does such bad things that it is impossible to outweigh them with the good. And even so, it is a gamble whether they will do anything good at all. If a business does something bad, you are not forced to give them your money anyway.

8 thoughts on “The FDA, Commission E, and the Nazis

  1. This strikes a nerve (or is it a joint or both?) close to my heart. In the last few years I have been beset with the onset of osteo-arthritis, from a few herniated discs to a knee I could barely walk on. All the doctors I went to (not that many as I am innately distrustful of the collusion between government and medicine) either said pills, pills, pills or surgery, surgery, surgery. Now oddly, while these problems began to affect my life, I had a couple of racehorses with similar issues. The vets suggested IRAP – a pseudo stem cell therapy that is culled from each horses’s own blood, “stem-celled” and “platelet” enriched and then injected back into the affected joint. My horses, not knowing about the placebo effect or the FDA did quite well. I began to wonder if I could pay my vet to do it for me. The concept made sense and I had seen the results first hand. Well lo and behold, I found a human doctor who does this for humans – but the doctor had to caution me it wasn’t approved by the FDA and therefore wouldn’t be covered by my insurance. Lucky for me I can afford non-insurance sanctioned medical procedures. So 1.5 weeks ago I tried it with my knee. They took some of my bone marrow (ouch) for the stem cells, mixed it with some of my blood spun down to platelet rich blood and injected the crap out of my knee. Now, I am by no means running marathons, but I still have one more treatment in mid-November and I have already felt an improvement and more importantly started exercising more strenuously. Will it work as hoped? The jury is still out – but I can tell you that if my results don’t equal the money I paid – I sure won’t recommend it to others who are in my position (I.e. The over 50 set with some extra cash) and if that is the case this PRP treatment as it is called for people will be a passing fad. All without a single government bureaucrat in sight. Sorry for the rant but the marriage between medicine and government bureaucracy scares me and as I said at the beginning of this rant – your blog today struck a nerve. Peace Out

    • You don’t have to apologize for the rant at all, it is exactly what people need to hear! That reminds me of a meme I saw the other day comparing two patients and how quickly they are diagnosed and treated—at the end, you are told the patient with quicker and better treatment was a dog at the vet. And it is so true! Your horses are not “protected” by the FDA, so they get better treatment! But since you are “safe”, you don’t have the same choices an unregulated medical market has (veterinary).

      I hope it works for you! But like you said, the market will tell whether this procedure survives or falls by the wayside. And since it has been tried in horses, I would think the risk to humans is relatively low. But even if there is a risk, it is your risk, and fortunately for other people who will come after you, the risk you take will (and initial funding of the procedure) will make it less risky, and more affordable.

  2. Exactly, the market will make an effective treatment affordable for all, it always does.

    Plus I could go on … For instance with my horses, the sample was frozen and then thawed before each injection. Apparently the act of freezing the blood/platelets and stem cells release additional proteins that are believed to help with this regenerative approach. Although I asked my doctor to do the same for my samples he told me he could not, because the act of freezing (and thereby “releasing” proteins) would change my own blood/platelets/stem cells into a “drug” and he would have to get FDA approval. So, because I am being “protected” I have to undergone another bone marrow aspiration (as I said before”ouch” to bone marrow aspiration and with the added inherent risk of infection due to a needle aspirating more bone marrow) and I don’t get the benefits of the release of the frozen proteins ( not that I truly understand the biochemistry of all that). Crazy ….

    PS. 2 weeks later now and my knee continues to improve

    • That is crazy! Your own blood becomes a “drug” that must be approved by the FDA just because it is frozen?! It is crazy that we have such an “authority” over our health, to the point where we cannot even make the choices that are best for us. And I would bet the reason the FDA hasn’t approved that “drug” is because procedures no not make as much money as selling a pill. So no one huge entity that can pay off the FDA wants to get this procedure approved, because they would have no easy way to monetize it. Exactly what people worry about happening without the FDA is already happening, so sad.

  3. So we’ve discussed the problem, but I like to be a problem solver (iat least in my own head). So, how to solve the problem? Does free market really work …. ???

    No one wants big drug companies etc to make bad drugs, knowingly, which has happened in the past (e.g. Thalamide babies) – nor would I be particularly pleased if I found out my doctor (who is, presumably by dint of his education and the fact he is charging me a high hourly rates, an expert) violate known good medical practices. Many would say – well d’uh, that’s why we have the FDA, USDA, LMNOP.

    I am a lawyer, so I may be biased, but I was pondering this issue this afternoon and it occurred to me that the court system (admittedly government, but at least in the Constituion) is the “free market” way of dealing with the might of jumbo-corps, “experts” and the like. Everyone likes to bash class action lawsuits, and lawyers and tort reform is a political hot button – but I can tell you from experience that a company’s willingness to try or settle a case is very market driven. if you have a strong case to prove you didn’t try to dupe the poor downtrodden with the might of the corporation and your margins are good – you go to trial, if your case is week, or it just plan cheaper to settle, you settle. On the plaintiff’s side – if I really got sick from the bone marrow aspiration because this doctor knew he had been exposed to say Ebola and broke quarantine (could never happen, right ???), and I could prove the loss of my income for however long it took me to get back to work (or whatever) I would want to go to trial or would only settle for a large amount. So abolish the FDA, USDA, and let the class action lawsuits loose – would it be more market efficient???

    I’d like to read your (and anyone else lurking out there) thoughts on this. Peace Out

    • I agree I think that if he knew he was exposed to something and still performed the procedure without you knowing that, he would be victimizing you by not telling you everything he knew, and therefore not allowing you to assess the risks for yourself. It would be in most company’s interest to settle these and pay the victims anyway, for the positive publicity. But yea, if someone is sold something without being told that when properly used it results in harm, then they have been victimized, and therefore should be allowed to seek damages from the aggressor.

  4. Pingback: Public Schools: Incarcerate and Indoctrinate | Vigilant Vote

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