A deal was worked out on Wednesday which selected 17 Amendments to the FDA bill to be voted on on Thursday. Sen. Paul’s amendment was included among the 17 so we now have until some time Thursday get people to email their Senators to to encourage them to support the Paul amendment.
On Thursday the Senate is expected to vote on the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act which contains authorization for the continued operation of the Food and Drug Administration. Senator Rand Paul has offered an amendment to this bill which addresses key problems with the FDA (S.3187).
This amendment targets two key areas of abuse of power by the FDA, regulatory overreach and abusive enforcement powers.
The first goal of the Paul Amendment is to reign in FDA overreach in regulating dietary supplements and deliberately misclassifying foods, vitamins and natural medicines as drugs, placing them under inappropriate restrictions or removing them from the market entirely. This addresses an ongoing problem with the FDA attempting to expand its authority to interfere more and more with the health food and natural medicine market to reduce competition with commercial pharmaceuticals. Paul’s proposal does not limit reasonable regulation of dangerous substances, but does target opportunistic overregulation.
The second target of the amendment is the excessive expansion of enforcement power in the FDA. This has become a problem with a number of federal agencies which have decided they need their own police forces. In the case of the FDA they have developed a cadre of armed enforcement officers and are sending them out to conduct forced inspections of manufacturing facilities and farms, often carrying out searches and making arrests without a warrant in violation of the 4th Amendment. It is questionable that the FDA should ever have been given the power to arrest people and they certainly shouldn’t have their own armed enforcement units. The Paul amendment would disarm the FDA and require them to follow due process in going after violators.
This amendment addresses a serious problem with one of many federal agencies which have gone far beyond their legitimately authorized power. FDA regulation should be strictly restricted to keep the market in health supplements and foods as free as possible and enforcement of their regulations should be handled as a civil process or by local law enforcement or existing federal enforcement agencies.
Please write your Senators to encourage them to vote with Rand Paul to limit the power of the FDA and end regulatory abuse and overenforcement. Make sure to modify the wording of the standard letter to cover the points, but be in your own voice.