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FDA's Kessler becoming target of anti-regulatory forces

FDA and its Administrator, Dr. David Kessler, are becoming the focal point for deregulation proponents on Capitol Hill. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) repeatedly has singled out FDA as an example of a government regulator that is hamstringing American business.

He criticized, in particular, FDA's time-consuming drug approval process and suggested that privatization of some agency functions might be a good idea. Among the many suggestions for speeding up the entry of drugs into the marketplace is one that would use package labels to indicate whether or not the drug had been approved by FDA. Consumers could then decide for themselves whether or not to use the drug. In a February meeting with members of the National-American Wholesale Grocers Association, freshman Congressman Rep. David McIntosh (R-IN) criticized Kessler's attempt to "micromanage" food labeling, saying Kessler "wasn't going to allow things on food labels that were not in line with what he wanted people to eat."

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