My friend, David Gumpert, who writes a very good column for Business Week Online, comments about the ominous threat of the FDA. His comments are very insightful. I wrote something similar a few months ago.
In their marketing, cherry farmers used studies showing that cherries were actually healthy to eat. (now that is shocking news, yes?) Well, they got Nastygrams from the FDA telling them that they had to stop telling Americans that cherries were healthy. The FDA told them that to claim health benefits for cherries they would have to do drug studies on the cherries. Now keep in mind these studies typically cost over $300 million dollars to do to FDA standards.
The scary thing is that the FDA could shut all these cherry growers down if they wanted to do so. No due process is needed. Pretty scary isn't it. The FDA helped put out drugs like Vioxx which KILLED somewhere between 25,000 and 100,000 people. Now they have time to threaten cherry growers with lawsuits? How many people died from eating cherries?? We would all do good to eat a lot more cherries. We don't need the FDA to regulate cherries!! I just wish they would keep dangerous drugs like Vioxx off the market.
UPDATE (by Patrick Sullivan Jr.): More updates on David's blog, including the ever-charming Steven Barrett finding a new friend in cherry grower John King. (Since I have to point it out for new readers, I'm being facetious.)