Congress has shown utter ignorance about the health care issues of greatest concern over which the FDA has authority.
Thousands of preventable deaths are caused by tainted drugs that kill while carrying the government seal of approval.
Instead, the Democrats in Congress focused narrowly on the "morning after" pill (Plan-B) a straw man that overshadowed the real problems with Dr. von Eschenbach’s appointment.
Richards lays out a bill of particulars showing why an FDA led by Dr. von Eschenbach and Dr. Scott Gottlieb spells disaster.
Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
Originally published August 24 2006
FDA poised to change the health & wellbeing of all Americans
Byron J. Richards
The FDA is now poised to dramatically change the health and well being of all Americans. Unfortunately, they are headed in the wrong direction–straight over a cliff. The FDA is supposed to make sure drugs are safe and effective; they are mandated to protect the public. However, the top two positions at the FDA are now headed by Big Pharma representatives. The Bush-appointed new FDA leadership is intent on removing any brakes being applied to the drug approval process, quite happy to turn ill Americans into human guinea pigs.
Piloting this sinking ship is Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., a Bush family friend. Since last October, he has been the temporary head of the FDA. We are now in the midst of his Senate confirmation process to be the permanent head of the FDA (a vote is expected mid September). Von Eschenbach is up to his eyeballs in Big Pharma and elite political connections, making his confirmation likely. Once the Plan B political hurdle is overcome, von Eschenbach plans to transform the FDA into a drug company. To avoid consumer confusion the FDA should change its name to something more fitting, like the Fast Drug Approval organization.
Flanking von Eschenbach is the thirty-three-year-old Scott Gottlieb, M.D. Gottlieb has no experience in drug safety and little clinical experience as a physician. Rather, he is an expert at promoting biotech stocks on Wall Street. He has numerous financial connections with drug companies. Standing in the way of Wall Street profiteering is a small group of scientists hiding in a back room at the FDA. Not surprisingly, prior to joining the FDA Gottlieb spent considerable energy lambasting the agency for not approving drugs fast enough.
Several years ago, as a member of the neo-con think tank known as the American Enterprise Institute, Gottlieb was invited into the FDA to rewrite its policy! Talk about a Trojan horse. Now that Gottlieb is second in command at the FDA, he has made it clear he doesn’t want the public to know when there are problems with drugs. While the FDA continues to aggressively harass safe and effective nutritional supplements, warning letters to drug companies have dramatically declined. The FDA agenda is favorable to Big Pharma and the sickness industry. It is harmful to the personal health and health options of Americans. Gottlieb represents energized youth willing to implement the von Eschenbach plan to strengthen the sickness industry monopoly for the next fifty years.
At von Eschenbach’s recent Senate confirmation hearing he was quick to point out that Scott Gottlieb would be instrumental in implementing the new FDA plan, referring to him and a few other FDA executives as "my greatest asset in leading the FDA." Frankly, that is an incredibly scary thought.
Not everything is running smooth as glass. Gottlieb was recently and very publicly embarrassed for the FDA’s lax approach to safety. Von Eschenbach’s going away party from the National Cancer Institute (he was heading both the FDA and NCI) had to be canceled, because the invitations asked for gifts–a violation of federal law. And, when the FDA was given its own health checkup after nine months of von Eschenbach leadership, it was found to be suffering from ED (Ethical Disease), perverting science for political and financial benefactors.
President Bush has learned that the best way to bring rapid change to the FDA is to appoint to its top positions harsh critics and former adversaries of the agency. The FDA purpose to provide consumer safety is being stamped out of existence.
What goes on in Washington represents the ultimate political game; positioning power, money, and issues for the benefit of the elite ruling class. Seldom does the American public understand what is going on. The morning after pill is obviously a hot potato. Politicians do not consider the abortion issue too hot to handle, they simply use it as a smoke screen to cover up the real issues at hand.
For example, Bush knows all too well that stem cell research will move forward with or without his blessings. Thus, with his ratings so low, his veto several weeks ago was nothing more than a political attempt to placate part of his fan base. Now he finds his FDA appointee on the abortion hot seat. Is Bush wielding his influence to scuttle Plan B? Of course not, the White House is silent. It is far more important to Bush that his drug-peddling friend gets into permanent power than it is to do something meaningful for what he pretends to believe in.
Hillary Clinton, as sly a politician who has ever existed, is more than happy to hold Bush’s feet to the hot coals. Hillary to George, "Give me Plan B and I’ll let you have von Eschenbach." George to his fan base, "There was nothing I could do about it. The FDA is an independent government agency."
Both Hillary and George want von Eschenbach approved, he is an ideal FDA chief for both of their warped healthcare agendas. The ones suffering in this game are Americans and their health. The suffering is not trivial; we are talking about broken lives and dead patients in the hundreds of thousands.
The Plan B decoy is a diversion so that no real questions are asked of von Eschenbach. How many Americans actually know anything about Andrew von Eschenbach? Serious Questions Surround Andrew von Eschenbach
It is quite clear that Andrew von Eschenbach has put in his time as an oncologist, researcher, and administrator involved with the cancer issue. Any person taking the time to look past the glowing résumé quickly finds out that he is well connected to Big Pharma and his emphasis is on using drugs to manage disease, a highly profitable approach to health care for Big Pharma. In fact, this approach has very little to do with positive health outcomes for patients.
Any reasonable person examining the von Eschenbach track record would never allow him in the front door of the FDA. As a major advocate of Big Pharma, he is the exact type of person that the FDA must monitor and regulate so as to protect the American public. Having him as the head of the FDA is a gigantic conflict of interest.
He was born October 30, 1941, apparently in Philadelphia, PA. Obviously of German heritage, this places his birthday at the height of World War II. Who was his father? What was his occupation? What were his connections to Germany? All we seem to know about his father is that he died of prostate cancer. These are fair questions, since the FDA is currently colluding with the German government behind the backs of Congress and the American people, crafting Codex rules to eliminate effective nutritional supplements and health options from the market (read "Fight for Your Health: Exposing the FDA’s Betrayal of America"). What are von Eschenbach’s current connections to Germany, the German government, and German drug and biotech companies? Why is the FDA operating in secrecy with foreign governments, including Canada and Mexico? What is going on?
Von Eschenbach had a long career at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. During his tenure he rose up the administrative ranks, eventually in charge of the operation. And this is where the serious problems began. He was involved in starting a nonprofit organization called the National Dialogue on Cancer (which has since adopted the name C-Change).
This is not an innocent group of cancer advocates. It is the Bilderbergs of American health. Meeting in secret, this elite organization plans and plots how to use the health resources of our federal government to forward the agenda of Big Pharma, especially relating to cancer care. They operate outside the scrutiny of Congress, yet are interwoven into the fabric of our federal government. Instead of approving von Eschenbach, Congress should be investigating this national health fiasco and diversion of public funds to private interests. There is a reason our government has spent billions of dollars on cancer research and nothing much has happened. Where did all the money go?
The major elite leaders of C-Change are the parents of our current president, George Sr. and Barbara Bush. They are the ones who invite members to participate in their elite clique. Of course, we must not forget that the Bush family wealth was created by the president’s grandfather, Prescott Bush, who made his fortune financing the build up of the Nazi war machine before Congress shut him down. George Bush Sr. has sat on the board of Ely Lilly. You get the picture. C-Change is an old boy network of elite Big Pharma and related interests (including big tobacco!).
Diane Feinstein (D CA) serves as vice-chair of C-Change. At the same time she promotes Big Pharma, she actively seeks to eliminate nutritional supplements from the market. She is one of the most anti-health-freedom members of Congress. How is it legal for government officials to collude with private industry outside the view of the American public and Congress? And remember, von Eschenbach is right smack in the middle of this scam.
C-Change is intimately connected with big tobacco. They have hired various PR firms that work for big tobacco. While these firms have been engaged in helping tobacco, they are at the same time helping to write policy that is intended to influence how our federal government spends money treating cancer. The shady history and connections of C-Change and the tobacco industry have been documented by the Cancer Letter.
Von Eschenbach has been a major player in C-Change since its inception. Parlaying his political connections, in January of 2002 our current president appointed him the head of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). All of a sudden, the fox was in charge of the henhouse. Even worse, he actually had a waiver signed by Tommy Thompson, the head of Health and Human Services, allowing him to remain on in capacity at C-Change while he headed the NCI! The waiver specifically spells out and acknowledges that a drastic conflict of interest already exists, "Furthermore, the NIH and NCI interests in the Dialogue [C-Change] are considerable, both from the scientific and financial standpoint. NCI has already engaged with many of the Members [of C-Change] in grant, contract, or collaborative efforts….Finally, the agency already has determined through support of the Dialogue’s Members [C-Change], that, to a significant degree, the interests of the Department and the interests of the Dialogue [C-Change] both can be furthered through the performance of Dr. von Eschenbach’s official duties."
During his tenure at NCI, while remaining as vice-chairman of C-Change, he undermined basic scientific research on cancer, instead directing funds to his pet projects for new biotech drug research. He created the unrealistic expectation that cancer would be cured by 2015, devoting billions of dollars to pie-in-the-sky genetic research that will have little benefit for many decades. Of course, these research dollars went to his C-Change friends. His conflicts of interest are so obvious and extensive that everyone is becoming numb to them. Interviews with NCI scientists show that the agency has been technically crippled under von Eschenbach leadership. No effort is spent to clean up the poisons in the environment that are the cause of cancer for so many Americans. After all, that would cause a decline in the cancer business and reduce the profits of the sickness industry.
While von Eschenbach was busy corrupting the NCI for the profits of the elite, in October of 2005 President Bush also placed him at the top position in the FDA! Apparently, both were part time jobs. Sure enough, von Eschenbach announced that the top priority of the FDA is speeding new drugs to the market, and eliminating safety studies that prove effectiveness, in favor of new genetic technology. The goals of Andrew von Eschenbach have never changed, only his job titles. He is entirely predictable. Is this what Americans want running a safety agency?
The bottom line is that very soon the FDA will base effectiveness of drugs on protein signals inside cells evaluated in a lab by a supercomputer. Effectiveness will no longer be based on such obvious outcomes as living longer or improved quality of health, based on controlled studies. Be defining safety and effectiveness on gene signal manipulation, the FDA will have a far lower standard for safety and effectiveness, enabling massive numbers of dangerous and toxic drugs to enter the market for human experimentation. Surely, this has C-Change members jumping up and down for joy, the echo being heard up and down Wall Street–and soon to be heard across the morgues in our country.
In order to carry out the von Eschenbach health vision of America your DNA will need to be in an FDA owned database. The FDA would also like radio frequency chips in your arm that contain your medical information (as well as your location). Do you trust them?
It is likely that men and women of our Congress will rubber stamp the von Eschenbach approval. I think we should all pay attention to exactly who votes to confirm Andrew von Eschenbach. And I think they should stand trial when the FDA-condoned death toll, already in the hundreds of thousands per year, sharply increases. It is not too late for Americans to call their Senators and tell them, "Vote no on von Eschenbach, we need an FDA chief who puts safety first."
Americans are being plunged into a high tech Dark Ages of healthcare. The Big Pharma juggernaut is on a rampage. The American population is asleep at the wheel, forfeiting their own health and the health of their children and grandchildren. All the while pretending they are doing something meaningful by having a war over abortion and right to life issues.
Thus, I write this article as a commentary on American history. Looking back in ten, twenty, or fifty years there will be a new congressional inquiry. This one will be centered on the massive numbers of deaths of Americans at the hands of Big Pharma and the FDA. It will make the Vioxx scandal look like a Sunday afternoon picnic. The congressional leaders, under pressure from millions of adversely affected patients and families of the injured, will be forced to examine the sordid monopoly of healthcare in America.
The FDA will be painted as the corrupt agency it has always been. The appointment of Andrew von Eschenbach will stand out as the seminal turning point, the progression to stage four cancer of the American health system. And the leaders of tomorrow will scratch their heads wondering about the leaders of today. Rules and laws will be crafted to placate the angry public, apparently to prevent such dangers from ever happening again. These rules will be twisted and avoided (for a small fee) by those they seek to regulate. And the politicians will look in the mirror, look in their wallets, and realize nothing has changed.
Byron J. Richards, Founder/Director of Wellness Resources, is a board-certified clinical nutritionist and nationally renowned health expert, radio personality, educator and author. His book, "Fight for Your Health: Exposing the FDA’s Betrayal of America," is one of Mike Adams’ must-read books for 2006. Article reprinted with permission of Truth in Wellness, LLC, copyright 2006.
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