What's The Cure for Burnout?

Budget cuts leave the FDA sickly and corporations concerned

Deodorant soap, pacemakers, food-color additives, blood banks, coffee, tongue depressors, eyeglass screws, tampons and cancer drugs -- all come under the scrutiny of the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA certifies the purity and safety of one-quarter of all U.S. consumer products, in addition to regulating the $400 billion food, pharmaceutical and medical-devices industries. But throughout the 1980s the FDA has been traumatized by budget and staff reductions, fusses over testing of drugs to combat AIDS, second- guessing over poisoned Chilean grapes, corrupt employees and controversies over the nutritional claims adorning food packages.

As a result, the agency has a bad...

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