Originally Posted by *MC*
I think there tends to be a general distrust of the FDA as their main goal seems to promote and keep certain industries (agriculture, being one) strong without much overall regard for "human safety."
For example, they go after people who sell and manufacture milk the old-fashioned way. What harm could possibly come from that? Oh, right, reduced homogenized milk sales! Can't have that, now can we?
In essence, I agree that the FDA should look out for human safety and I agree that supplement and drug companies have been able to blow smoke up our collective asses for far too long.
But when I look at substances which aren't controlled like alcohol and tobacco, substances which are tightly controlled like "gear," and look at how some drug companies are able to garner approval for drugs with a laundry list of side-effects including paralysis or worse, the reality of how the FDA works falls far short of my ideal.
I can't comment on homogenized milk as I don't know anything about putative health risks that might be associated with it.
You're right, of course, that pharmacological drugs are allowed through with terrible side effects and safety records. However, many of these drugs are addressing life-threatening conditions, so the bar has to be set in a different place for supplements. Anti-psychotics, for example, are notorious for side effects - but they save lives. Drastic conditions need more drastic treatments and the concommitant higher risks. But at least those risks are well-known.
With tobacco and alcohol, well again this is an issue of informed consent. The average consumer has a wealth of easily available research relating to alcohol and tobacco. When it comes to supplement compounds, I would argue that the average person is incredibly vulnerable. Many get their information from the big guy at the gym, supplement company shills or misinterpret research studies.
Many of the FDA's controls are seen in other developed countries. So if the FDA make their decisions due to pressure groups or various industries, we have to conclude that these groups have an international reach. And that sounds suspiciously close to conspiracy to me.