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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Slaughter Statement on President-elect Trump Considering Jim O’Neill to Lead the FDA

December 8, 2016
Press Release
“Deeply troubling that President-elect Trump is considering nominating someone who would turn every American into a guinea pig”

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25), the only microbiologist in Congress, released this statement following reports that President-elect Donald Trump is considering venture capitalist Jim O’Neill to head the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has broad regulatory authority that impacts everything from vaccines to medical devices and tobacco products to prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

“The health of every single American is impacted by the decisions made by the FDA, which has some of the broadest authority in our government. They are our first line of defense in making sure that drugs and medical devices are safe and effective for consumers. It is deeply troubling that President-elect Trump is considering nominating someone who would turn every American into a guinea pig by eliminating clinical trials that determine whether or a not a drug is effective,” said Slaughter. “I would strongly object to Mr. O’Neill’s nomination.”

In a 2014 speech, O’Neill outlined how he supports changing current FDA rules and allowing drugs to go straight to market without any evidence of their effectiveness. This dangerous approach would violate a law passed more than 50 years ago mandating that drugs be proven both safe and effective before being sold to consumers. “Let’s prove efficacy after they’ve been legalized,” O’Neill said.   

As the only microbiologist in Congress, Rep. Slaughter has led the national effort to combat the spread of antibiotic resistance and preserve the effectiveness of these life-saving drugs. She wrote the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) to protect the effectiveness of antibiotics by preventing their overuse on healthy food animals. She also introduced a bill to require robust reporting of antibiotic use by factory farms.

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