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FROM THIS EPISODE

The mission of the Food and Drug Administration is protection of public health and welfare. Does its approval of Plan B contraceptive pill signal a change at the FDA?

Producers:
Frances Anderton

Main Topic Science, Politics and the Food and Drug Administration 30 MIN
The mission of the Food and Drug Administration is protection of public health and welfare. To accomplish that, the agency regulates no less than one fourth of all consumer products sold in the United States. Despite the agency's approval yesterday to sell Plan B, the "morning-after" contraceptive pill over the counter, controversy over the FDA will go on for a long time. Religious conservatives claim the pill invites promiscuity and sexually transmitted disease. Women’s rights advocates don't like the age limit of 18. We hear those arguments and look at the broader debate about FDA's ability to protect public health and welfare. Are its decisions based on science or religion and ideology? Is it a captive of the wealthy and powerful interests it's supposed to monitor and control? (An extended version of this discussion originally aired earlier today on To the Point.)

Guests:
Susan Wood, Former Assistant Commissioner for Women's Health at the FDA
Wendy Wright, Concerned Women for America
Sidney Wolfe, Director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group
John "Jack" Calfee, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

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