Category Archives: FDA

Behind Recent Drug Price Gouging, a Bad CEO and an Even Worse Legal System

It’s been a rough week for bad executives. Volkwagen’s CEO, Martin Winterkorn, resigned after investigators discovered that the carmaker had installed software that allowed its vehicles to pass emissions tests, while during normal operation they spewed out pollutants far beyond legal limits. Another executive received a 28-year prison sentence for deliberately shipping tainted peanut butter […]

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Peanut Brothers Go to Prison. Lessons Learned.

Today, food safety advocates are cheering the unprecedented magnitude of judicial sentences delivered against two company executives (who also happen to be brothers) who knowingly sent peanut butter tainted with salmonella into interstate commerce. A federal judge in Georgia sentenced one brother to 28 years in jail and the other to 20 years (a plant manager also […]

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Remembering Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey, the Regulator Who Saved a Generation of American Children

In the late 1950s, a new over-the-counter sedative, thalidomide was introduced in Germany. At the time, it was the only non-barbiturate sedative on the market and it was marketed as an extraordinarily safe sleeping aid. The drug company “advertised their product as ‘completely safe’ for everyone, including mother and child, ‘even during pregnancy,’ as its […]

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John Oliver: Jon Stewart’s legacy on public health

Last semester I taught a course on public health law. There was hardly an issue we covered that did not have an astute The Daily Show with Jon Stewart segment to help the students understand not just the health issue, but also its underlying political and legal conditions. Many of the clips are captured here […]

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Posted in FCTC, FDA, Global Health, Health reform, Human Rights, National Healthcare, Tobacco; Tagged: , , , , .

Competing to smoke – when antitrust law undermines the public health

What if I told you that while one government agency is tasked with reducing the prevalence of smoking in the US, another is making decisions that aim to keep cigarettes cheap and accessible? Well, this bizarre outcome is exactly what happens when antitrust law is rigidly applied to the tobacco industry. This week, with approval […]

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Posted in FDA, Tobacco; Tagged: , , .

An end to salmonella on produce? A look at FDA’s Food Safety Challenge

I recently read an article in Forbes that asked, “Are [foodborne] outbreaks actually increasing, or are we just more aware of them?” I work in food safety. I often feel panicked before I feed my children. But I thought that might just be a hazard of working in this field. So, are foodborne outbreaks actually […]

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The Lancet – O’Neill Institute, Georgetown University Commission on Global Health and the Law

The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University is pleased to announce the launch of the launch of The Lancet – O’Neill Institute, Georgetown University Commission on Global Health and the Law. This commission’s focus is that law should be viewed as a major determinant of health and safety and can […]

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Posted in FDA, Global Health, Health reform, Human Rights, National Healthcare, Tobacco, Trade, WHO; Tagged: , , , , , , , , , .

Get your popcorn.* The O’Neill Institute goes to the movies [Part I]

*you may want to wait until after you see these films to decide whether your popcorn of choice is safe to eat. Each summer, staff at the O’Neill Institute gather to informally enjoy and discuss films covering events in public health. In Part I of this season’s film series, we will focus on the role […]

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Posted in FDA, Global Health, Human Rights, Uncategorized, Updates; Tagged: , , .

How many scientists and lawyers does it take to regulate a cigarette package?

This week, we have seen yet another example of tobacco industry intimidation tactics being used to stop a government from enacting laws that will save lives and protect the public health. The Irish government announced that it is introducing plain packaging legislation, following through on its goal of becoming the first country in the European […]

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Posted in FDA, Global Health, Tobacco, Trade; Tagged: , , , , .

Danger in the Dietary Supplement Aisle. Again.

Good news? Walmart may be next in line to help police the dietary supplement industry. Let me explain. Yesterday, the NY state attorney general’s office accused four national retail chains – GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart – of selling fraudulent and mislabeled dietary supplements based on findings that four out of five of the products […]

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Posted in FDA, National Healthcare, Uncategorized; Tagged: , , .

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