Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Food and Drug Administration

The following was written in November 2013 as a response to the questionnaire for federal candidates seeking an endorsement from the Liberty Caucus of the Republican Conference (i.e., the Republican Party).

Here is the link to the original questionnaire:

This is my answer to Question #10.

10. B and C
   (Drugs, chemicals, and foods which may have harmful side effects should be either well-labeled and available to adults, or available with a physician's prescription; that decision should be made at the state and local levels. Potentially harmful foods and drugs should not be banned or controlled by the federal government, nor should they be protected by liability limits)
   There is no constitutionally enumerated power for (A) the Congress to control, limit, or ban potentially harmful goods. I favor abolishing the Food and Drug Administration, and I would only favor federal involvement in foods and drugs if the authority to regulate were implemented according to a bill which went through the amendment process and became part of the Constitution.
   I would support (B) requiring a physician's prescription and state regulation. The states do not have the right to place outright bans on the import and export of particular goods, because that action interferes with interstate commerce; the free flow of goods among the several states. However, states do have the right to place restrictions and conditions upon the purchase, sale, ownership, etc. of goods, provided that those restrictions and conditions do not effectively prohibit commerce in such good(s).
   I do not support (D) protecting producers of harmful goods with liability limits because I believe that such limits constitute an assault on the freedom of juries to award the compensation they deem appropriate; juries' rights are needed to protect the well-being of victims of private interests, government, and common criminals alike.
   I would support a combination of (B) and (C): potentially harmful goods should be either available well-labeled to adults, or requiring a physician's prescription. I would argue that that decision – pertaining to each possibly harmful food or drug – should be done at the most local competent level of government, with no state being free to interrupt interstate commerce or prohibit intrastate manufacture of any good.

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