September 20, 2005 - 3:02pm ET
Popular This Week
Also Worth Reading
Here's yet another indication that no one is running the show in our federal government: A Washington Post article today explains how, last week, the FDA appointed one Dr. Norris Alderson, a veterinarian, to the post of director of the Office of Women's Health (vacated last month by Dr. Susan Wood). Then, a few days later, the FDA announced that a Theresa Toigo would be directing the Women's Health office—and refused to acknowledge that they had, in fact, named Alderson to the post a few days earlier.
So the FDA is denying the mix-up, but they can't deny the paper trail out there that they created—by sending an e-mail to women's organizations announcing Alderson's appointment. As Karen Pearl, director of Planned Parenthood, put it:
It appears something funny is going on at the FDA, and Planned Parenthood is not laughing. At a time when the FDA's credibility is already in question, these unusual announcements are troubling.
The folks at ThinkProgress were clever enough to check the Google cache of the FDA website—and found that, sure enough, Norris Alderson was listed as acting director of the women's health office. (It's since been removed, of course.)
The Post article pointed out that when the original annoucement was made last week, comments circulating on the Internet were largely negative—which is not shocking, considering the FDA had appointed a male veterinarian to lead the women's health office. It's hardly the kind of positive PR the FDA needs these days in the face of its Plan B incompetence—in fact, it's almost as bad as when Bush signed the controversial partial-birth abortion bill surrounded by six men. Whether the FDA made the switch because of the obvious bad jokes that would be made about the Bush administration likening women to animals, or whether, as Salon suggested, they were afraid it would be another case of Michael Brown (the ousted FEMA director and Arabian horse guy), the FDA isn't a shining example of science in the public interest. Again.
Help us spread the word about these important stories...
Email to a friend
Views expressed on this page are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Campaign for America's Future or Institute for America's Future