Medicine: Valuable Gadfly

Wolfe at Washington's door

Gadfly. Definition: a usually intentionally annoying person who stimulates or provokes others, especially by persistent, irritating criticism. Example: Sidney Wolfe, director of Ralph Nader's Health Research Group.

Wolfe's sting has been felt mostly by Washington bureaucrats. For the past seven years, the 41-year-old doctor has been buzzing around federal agencies, urging them to take action on health issues. These range from banning cancer-causing chemicals from food supplies and the workplace to removing hazardous drugs from the market and warning the public about the...

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