President George W. Bush nominated Lester M. Crawford to lead the Food and Drug Administration today, a position that has been vacant for nearly a
year. Crawford has been acting commissioner since March 2004. The new FDA head will need to handle protecting the nation's food supply from
terrorists and safety concerns over already approved drugs in the wake of Merck's Vioxx safety recall.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush said Monday he will nominate Lester M. Crawford to be commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, filling a
position that has been vacant for nearly a year amid rising concerns about the safety of drugs on the market.
Crawford has been acting commissioner since March 2004, when the Senate confirmed then-director Mark McClellan to oversee the agency that runs the
Medicaid and Medicare programs.
One of his main tasks will be to protect the nation's food supply from terrorism, according to his boss, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike
Leavitt. He said recently that the FDA will expand to take on that role.
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The FDA is facing many criticisms for being too close to the drug industry it is supposed to regulate, as well as many new tasks in protecting the
food supply. Hopefully Crawford will be able to reform the agency.
Current research shows clearly that the greatest threats to the nation's food supply come from an already contaminated water supply and food
processing facilities. In comparison, the so-called "terrorist threat" is nil to non-existent.
Hopefully, Mr. Crawford will have the pull and jam to stand up for ordinary American's health.
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