The Least of Rings

If you were to ask most people to name the least dangerous, most beneficial branch of the Federal government, I suspect many would name the Food and Drug Administration. After all, the desire to have a safe and clean food and water supply is the #1 argument fielded in favor of a strong regulatory state. Those whose family members might have benefited from drug treatments or other therapies banned by the FDA might not view it in such a positive light, of course. Still, even there the FDA's reputation is one of being overcautious in keeping Americans safe on average -- though in effect they condemn many to death who might at least have a chance with some experimental therapy.

Should your opinion of the FDA be roughly aligned with this view, you will find this report in Scientific American to be shocking.


Ymar Sakar said...

I often said that the Bush administration could make good use of war propaganda in the US, to fight off the Left's anti war propaganda. Bush, being the President, had control of many sources of information, which the media would gladly trade their independence for. That would be one way. The media are very competitive, in a strange fashion. If you give information to a hick town newspaper as a scoop, the national presses will be furious with jealousy. Remember that incident with Dick Cheney and his hunting mishap.

Well, if Republicans refuse to use it, they'll just lose it to Democrats. And even 70 yo Democrats who win the Republican primary, will get to use it more.

Ymar Sakar said...

As for the so called journalistic standard of freedom... they were always lapdogs. It doesn't take much or a Student of the Art of Propaganda to manipulate journalists like Woodward and Bern.

Even a FBI sub director successfully did so. You just have to know what lies in the heart of a journalist. Curiosity? The OCD obsession with getting the Exclusive scoop, such that they will make deals even with Saddam Hussein? See how easy they are to manipulate, how weak the human heart is.

jaed said...

I would have called it the most dangerous, not the least. Not because of anything it has done or not done (and I have not yet read the linked article), but precisely because its ostensible (and to a great extent actual) purpose is to have "a safe and clean food and water supply".

Evil has a much easier time if it can hide behind virtue, because people will hesitate to condemn an organization with a virtuous purpose even when it does evil. The agencies whose mission is most widely accepted as benign are the ones we need to watch the most closely.