US FDA attracts former adversaries

The US Food & Drug Administration has recruited one of its own long-standing critics, hiring Peter Lurie from the watchdog Public Citizen as a policy adviser. That suggests a more enlightened approach from the regulator under Margaret Hamburg, the new commissioner named by President Barack Obama.But what is good for goverment is bad for independent scrutiny. Earlier this year, the agency hired Sidney Wolfe, another vocal critic from Public Citizen, which must now be reeling from the departures. Who will be left to provide commentary and outside analysis?

It all tastes less of poacher turned gamekeeper than of gamekeeper poaches critics.

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Margaret McCartney is a Glasgow-based GP and FT Weekend columnist. She started writing for the Life and Arts section in 2005 and moved to the magazine in 2008. She also has her own blog: www.margaretmccartney.com/blog

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