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FDA lobbyists got tobacco, drug funding 

Jump to full article: Associated Press (AP), 1996-07-26
Author: Jim Drinkard, Associated Press writer


A conservative push to revamp the Food and Drug Administration and curb its powers has received its intellectual firepower from more than a half-dozen Washington think tanks.

At the same time, those think tanks received at least $3.5 million -- and probably a good deal more -- from the drug and tobacco companies that stand to gain from weaker FDA regulation, according to a new study by the consumer group Public Citizen.

"The misleading case for this dangerous legislation has been manufactured by industries that stand to make huge additional profits," said Joan Claybrook, president of the liberal advocacy group. The group supports more vigorous regulation, including FDA authority over sale of tobacco to minors.

The think tanks have used the money to produce "a steady stream of reports, fact sheets, op-ed articles and newspaper, radio and television advertisements purporting to document the FDA's deadly overcaution and bullying of manufacturers," said the study, which is being released today. . .

The think tanks -- AEI, the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Progress and Freedom Foundation and the Washington Legal Foundation -- lend "an aura of academic independence" to what really is a campaign motivated by corporations' desires for higher profits, the study contended.

An eighth group involved in the campaign, Citizens for a Sound Economy, received $191,800 from cigarette maker Philip Morris in 1991

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