Monday, August 9, 2010

Science vs. Censors and Scoundrels

[Note from Your Genetic Genealogist: I have a guest writer today who was determined to voice his opinion, so I have given him a forum. I think he makes very relevant points.]

Our Nation of scientific stagnation and regulatory constipation
I just finished reading a most excellent blog entitled “FDABLOG.” [Note from YGG: Please read the post "In wake of FDA offensive, genomics entrepreneurs look overseas" in the link.] There’s but one thing that I want to add, something that is already touched on in this excellent blog- i.e. that many are not speaking out on this, including executives and prominent venture capitalists because of fear of FDA retaliation. You might want to read that line again and let it sink in a bit. I did, and I have to admit this is a frightening thought. 

It becomes more frightening yet when you consider that this statement did not come from some conspiracy theorist living in an underground compound in Pahrump, Nevada. Instead, it came from a highly credible source.  If the same venture capitalists that are key to funding this genetic revolution (would-be revolution if the FDA will get its way) are hesitant to speak up in fear of retaliation from a regulatory body put in place to protect its citizens against, well, the line gets a little blurry here, then perhaps we need to ask what else do we need to be afraid of?   
Now, how can I say this without sounding like a mad conspiracy theorist...but I have to: If this is true, what then is the real agenda?  Why is it that the FDA had such a sudden “shift” in attitude lately? Is it that because of the transparency of information across all lines from scientist to consumer,  the field of genetics and personalized genomics is moving away from the caring arms of the regulators? Are we getting close to some groundbreaking discoveries that will render current treatment methodologies archaic? If so, and because of this transparency of information, is it possible that such new discoveries would not qualify for “protection” under patent law? If that is truly so, at least we need no longer question why the FDA has suddenly become so protective over... what?
I know this is pure speculation but is it that far off? Let’s look at some facts: Is it not true that in the Ritalin scam it was later discovered that pretty much every FDA panel member had a personal interest in the pharmaceutical companies that were peddling these drugs for kids and that dangerous, even deadly, side effects were purposely covered up in the approval process? [Source] Kids die, that’s ok, but we’re not allowed to see our genome… don’t get me going…  

Whether this is all true, pure speculation or somewhere in between, one thing remains irrefutable: It is frightening and unacceptable when key players, vital to the future of this industry, are concerned about speaking out because of fear of retaliation. It is further frightening and, frankly, deplorable that we as a society will allow this to take place in our own back yard. 

Whatever happened to that “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” spirit?  So – c’mon everybody, speak up, get mad as hell, write letters, emails, blogs, get involved … be American for Pete’s sake! Only action will reveal the truth. Inaction will continue to pave the way to a nation of scientific stagnation and regulatory constipation.

Love America, but Proud to be a Swede.

1 comment: