Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Church of the FDA

Scientists and health officials have long complained that the influence of the Religious Right is hampering the development of legitimate medical progress.

It’s a claim that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has long denied, maintaining that its opposition on these hot button issues is driven by scientific research, not pressure from the Bush administration’s religious supporters.

But not so fast…

1) Now comes a report from the Government Accounting Office that suggests that top FDA officials decided to reject WHAT medical development BEFORE the FDA’s own advisory committee was able to gather all the scientific facts on the matter?

A) Federal funding of stem cell research
B) Granting over-the-counter status for the Plan B emergency contraception pill
C) Discussing condom use as part of high school sex education guidelines
D) Mirena, an intrauterine device (IUD) that creates a "hostile uterine environment" to prevent pregnancy

2) And what consumer product is the FDA considering putting warning labels on for the first time, despite objections from groups like Planned Parenthood?

A) Condoms
B) Personal lubricants
C) Sex toys
D) Pornographic magazines


1) B: Plan B. The over-the-counter status of this drug has become a major battle in the Religious Rights war against abortion rights, since many women are finding it next to impossible to find a pharmacist who will fill a legitimate prescription for it.
2) A: Condoms. The warning, championed by supporters of abstinence only sex education, warns that condoms decrease, but do not eliminate, the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.


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