'Evening News' Cries Twice for More Money for FDA

The solution to government problems is more government according to CBS "Evening News" on April 23.

Two stories from that broadcast criticized the Food and Drug Administration, though neither report included a response from the agency. Still, Katie Couric said politicians are "not sure the FDA is up to the job."

Reporter Wyatt Andrews made it sound like everyone supports increased FDA regulation and funding.

"Every proposal to fix the FDA says the real job belongs to Congress. That Congress has to deliver new funding and new authority to bring the FDA into the 21st Century," concluded Andrews.

Reporter Nancy Cordes echoed the cry for more funding, although she stated that an additional $11 million is already slated for food safety efforts in 2008. But that's not enough.

"Former FDA officials say the agency needs 10 times that," said Cordes.

That would be an increase of $106 million. Cordes never mentioned that the 2007 food safety budget already increased by almost $20 million -- a rise of 12.5 percent.

CBS spent 4 1/2 minutes detailing problems on both the food and drug sides of the FDA by interviewing the anti-industry group Center for Science in the Public Interest, the pro-regulation Consumers Union, as well as a disgruntled former FDA official and liberal Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.).

One one person in each story offered a free-market perspective.

Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC's Business and Media Institute.