Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
When the New York ad agency, the one the runs the “quackbuster” operation against innovation in health care in North America selects a new target, one of the things they count on is “a raid” from their bed partners at the FDA, against that selected target.
On the morning of “the raid,” highly trained (insert a BIG SNORT here) FDA agents, dressed in cute little body armor, covered by “the right” special jacket, ordered expressly from a “law enforcement” catalog – the wanna-be cops version of L.L. Bean – with “FDA” emblazoned in the approved yellow, ten inch high letters, across the back, stop by the gun locker where they will be issued their M-16, or their Browning 12-Gauge Pump, for this morning’s event.
Alarmed that FDA agents would be issued fire-power? Don’t be – for they’ve been trained for months with those weapons – just for this occasion – and they’re ready to rock-and-roll. You can be sure that every FDA agent along for “the raid,” has been able to demonstrate proficiency; can recognize a vitamin, or supplement bottle, at sixty yards in a driving snowstorm, lay that laser sight down on the vitamin label, and put forty (40) M-16 (5.56x45mm .223 caliber) ball rounds through that bottle, and another 120 rounds through the person holding it, before you can say “It’s only vitamin C, boys…”
Before you wonder, like I do, if FDA raids are sort of a law enforcement parody designed by the same art director that put together the persona for “The Village People,” consider that those “crotch protectors” they’re issued cost $430 each. This is serious business – it’s not funny – quit laughing. These people sit in FDA classrooms for months, listening to “experienced field personnel” telling war stories, warning against allowing some 90 year old granny-type taking off her sock, loading it up with vitamin C pills, and whacking “poor old Joe” in the gonads the day before his retirement…
And, of course, there are those “face protectors” attached to the body armor helmets. Agents are taught to keep those in place at all times – after all, if they have to whack some patient, in a clinic, in the stomach, with the butt of their Browning 12-guage shotgun, we wouldn’t want them to get sprayed in the face with recently swallowed Noni juice, now would we?
Don’t forget the steel-toed shoes, either…
Let’s get to the point…
Yes, I deride FDA “raid” tactics. I know, as well as you do, that those tactics, all that riot gear, the screaming, the smashing, the gun pointing, the overtly aggressive behavior, is NOT because the FDA agents fear the people they are raiding – they don’t. It is all a game designed to deliver a message. And that message is clear. It says “we, the FDA, are completely owned by the pharmaceutical industry. Our employees are trained, not to regulate food and drugs, but to eliminate competition for those drugs, wherever that may be. We will kill you if we can find reason – and we are looking for a reason.”
Ok, here comes the point… Those FDA raids are a “bully” thing – the big kid picking on the little kids. My guess is that if the FDA were dumb enough to get the wrong address, and accidentally raid the average inner city illicit drug operation, they’d get chewed up and spit out – out-fire-powered, out-maneuvered, and out-violenced. Those cute “FDA” jackets would be worn by local high schools kids for the next year – and the “crotch protectors” would be sold on E-Bay.
So, what I’m waiting to see is, whether, or not, the FDA has the balls to raid a relatively new player on the Altmed scene – the US Army.
Yup – that’s what I said – the US Army.
The US Army is holding an Altmed convention. – for the third year in a row. It’s called the “3rd Annual Natural Health Symposium – Cutting-Edge Applications & Workshops” and it’s being held in El Paso, Texas at the Radisson Suite Inn on November 2-4, 2005. Want more information? Click here.
Now, what I’m wondering, of course, is which FDA office has been handed the assignment to raid this operation.
Or, will they? Surely there’s somebody in the FDA Texas office, that knows what a US Army M3A3 Bradley Fighting vehicle was designed to do. Certainly there is somebody at the Texas FDA that can tell his/her comrades-in-arms what effect their Puny little M-16s and Browning 12-guage Pumps will have against even one single M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank (and they DO NOT come individually), or a UH-60 Blackhawk squadron.
Go ahead FDA – raid the US Army. I dare you…
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate