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Kessler Resignation Sparks Concern About Future Of FDA

BIDDING ADIEU: David Kessler, who headed FDA for more than six years, says he is pleased with his record. When David Kessler, the commissioner of the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), announced his resignation in late November, many people were surprised. The controversial FDA head was in the middle of waging war against the United States tobacco industry when he decided to step down after more than six years in the job. His supporters, including public health advocates, contend tha

Steven Benowitz

David Kessler
BIDDING ADIEU: David Kessler, who headed FDA for more than six years, says he is pleased with his record.
When David Kessler, the commissioner of the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), announced his resignation in late November, many people were surprised. The controversial FDA head was in the middle of waging war against the United States tobacco industry when he decided to step down after more than six years in the job. His supporters, including public health advocates, contend that he has made FDA a more effective agency in protecting consumer safety and health. Detractors, such as those in the tobacco and medical device industries, argue that Kessler has favored too much government regulation, delaying drug and medical device development. Many in Congress agree with them and have launched efforts to reform FDA.

While FDA officials claim that Kessler's departure will not affect the agency's plans to go...

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