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China Executes Top FDA Official While the U.S. Does Nothing to Counter Corruption

What's interesting about China's execution of its top FDA official (Zheng Xiaoyu) for accepting bribes from drug companies is not that China executed a corrupt official, it's that such harsh actions demonstrate, in contrast, the complete lack of action against corrupt FDA officials in the United States. In the U.S., the more corrupt the politician or bureaucrat, the more power they seem to gain, and those who demonstrate the most extreme degrees of evil, greed and contempt for fellow human beings seem to end up at the very top. Just look at who's running the FDA today (or the nation, for that matter).

I'm no proponent of the death penalty, especially since it is almost always applied in a racist manner in the United States, but there are times when high crimes against the people can seemingly justify permanently removing someone from society. China did precisely that in executing its top FDA official for accepting more than $800,000 in bribes from drug companies to approve unsafe drugs. Yet bribery is routine in the United States drug approval process. In fact, the official FDA policy right now is that FDA decision panel experts -- the people who decide which drugs to approve or reject -- can currently accept up to $50,000 in bribes from drug companies and still serve on such decision panels.

This policy, by the way, is brand new. Until recently, there was no limit on the amount of money these FDA decision makers could accept from drug companies. In fact, there was no requirement whatsoever that these decision makers even reveal their conflicts of interest! They could take hundreds of thousands of dollars from the very drug companies impacted by their votes, and yet sit on the decision panel and cast votes. (See the CounterThink cartoon Conflicts of Interest for a humorous depiction of this.)

None of the FDA leaders saw any problem with this policy of tolerated corruption. In fact, they still resist the idea that Congress is passing new laws to place restrictions on such obvious conflicts of interest. Corruption is so endemic in the FDA that the agency is incapable of even recognizing corruption. The agency thinks it is above the law (much like the White House) and that it must answer to no one. This is the view of its leaders, at least. Many of the people who work inside the agency see the corruption all around them. The problem is, when they try to speak up about it, they get fired or blackballed... or even threatened with legal action by the agency's top "enforcers."

The FDA is more dangerous to Americans than terrorism

As I have stated many times on this site, the FDA is a clear and present danger to the health and safety of the American people. The agency is so deeply entangled in protecting drug company profits and corporate interests that it has utterly abandoned its mission of protecting the people. Not a single person has presented a credible defense against these accusations. The FDA is indefensible.

China executed its top FDA official for corruption. I believe the U.S. should arrest and prosecute top FDA officials. And while I would not support actually killing them (although many would say that is quite justified, given the enormous number of Americans killed by FDA-approved pharmaceuticals), I would strongly support requiring them to make a public apology and testify to the atrocities they have committed against the people. Modeling an FDA apology after the post-Apartheid South African amnesty arrangement might be worth exploring. We need to know the truth far more than we need to punish or kill FDA officials.

Of course, killing corrupt officials in the name of justice also serves its own purpose: It sends a message to others that corruption will not be tolerated. But corruption is always tolerated to some extent, even in China. It's only a question of WHO gets targeted for termination based on the politics of the moment. It was in China's political interests, for example, to show the West that it was cracking down on FDA corruption following the discovery of toxic pet food proteins and toothpaste products exported by Chinese manufacturers. So the execution of its top FDA official served a convenient political purpose, too.

That doesn't mean the execution wasn't justified on its own. Some might say that any official who knowingly accepted $800,000 in bribes from drug companies while running the country's top drug approval agency was engaged in such an egregious crime that it clearly crossed the line and deserved a swift and aggressive response. I'm just wondering why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration didn't offer the guy a job and secretly smuggle him out of China. If he can run a corrupt regulatory agency, and he's used to taking money from drug companies, he'd fit right in with the American FDA! They could use another evil bureaucrat like that around here!

As usual, the press misses the real story

What's really interesting about the press coverage of China's execution is that virtually no one has bothered to call for arresting and prosecuting corrupt FDA officials in the United States. The reaction from the mainstream press is all too typical: It's someone else's problem, not ours. The U.S. FDA is trustworthy. Our people would never stoop to accepting bribes.

It's all hogwash, of course, and the mainstream media is part of the problem because it refuses to print the truth about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In an honest society with a truly free press, the Washington Post should be calling for a massive FDA investigation and prosecution effort. After all, investigating a corrupt agency responsible for killing 100,000 Americans each year (which is a conservative estimate of the number of Americans killed each year by FDA-approved prescription drugs) should obviously be a very high priority for a free press. It's the story of the decade. And yet there's no interest whatsoever in conducting such an investigation or publishing an editorial calling for the arrest and prosecution of U.S. FDA officials. The mainstream media is asleep at the wheel on this one.

A State of fear

It makes you wonder: Why do American citizens tolerate such corruption these days? Why are people so afraid to question their government? The answer, of course, is that America has been turned into a police state nation, where the population is controlled by a campaign of fear orchestrated by the White House. The easiest way to keep the sheeple in line is to scare them to death with fabricated tales of foreign enemies trying to "destroy freedom." It's a propaganda campaign that has the intended effect of making the people too scared to question their government anymore. Very few remaining Americans have the courage to march in the streets, or carry a protest sign, or even say what they think. I recall talking to an author of a very popular health book who told me she didn't include a section on stevia because she thought the FDA might confiscate the book if she mentioned the herb!

Incredible. What has America come to if people won't stand up against a corrupt, tyrannical government? The answer is simple: An enslaved nation that will devolve into a tyrannical dictatorship. The FDA already operates a medical dictatorship, complete with censorship, oppression of information and intimidation campaigns against those who attempt to speak out against the agency. (Just ask Dr. David Graham.) This pattern of tyranny permeates American government today. And it has left us with a nation where the people are diseased, afraid and bankrupt.

This is why I predict the nation will not last for one more generation. The United States of America is a nation on a course of self destruction. When the people are too afraid to speak out against their own government, the future of that nation is not in doubt. Read your history on the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party to find out what happens next.

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