FDA slams Republican 'hard science' amendment

A Republican amendment adopted last week by House appropriators could weaken efforts to protect the public from unsafe drugs, tobacco, lead-filled candy and even tainted blood, the Food and Drug Administration said Monday in several documents.

The amendment, from Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), would restrict the kind of information regulators use when making their decisions. The amendment cleared the Appropriations Committee last week.

"FDA must sometimes act when there are credible risks, but before the weight of scientific evidence has been established," the FDA said in its analysis of the amendment. "This amendment would require that consumers actually be harmed before FDA can take certain actions to protect the public health."