If the president is going to restore science to its “rightful place,” he’s going to have to do something serious about the Food and Drug Administration. Not only was it the site of many Bush-era science related scandals, over matters like the over-the-counter availability of emergency contraception, but it has also broken down repeatedly on the job. The most recent screwup involves peanut butter, but my God, how many others have there been? Remember Vioxx?
The president says he’s going to be conducting “a complete review of FDA operations.” Good. Moreover, the naming of a new commissioner is expected soon. Let’s hope we see a real science-centered reformer–my pick would be whistleblower and former Office of Women’s Health director Susan Wood, and I understand that some of the speculation does include her.
Let’s hope that’s not all it is.