Maintaining the American public’s trust in the FDA is vital. If the agency’s credibility is lost because of real or perceived interference, people will not rely on the agency’s safety warnings. Erosion of public trust will leave consumers and patients doubting our recommendations, less likely to enroll in clinical studies or to use FDA-regulated products when they should to maintain or improve their health. This is problematic under normal circumstances but especially if we are to ultimately overcome COVID-19. Protecting the FDA’s independence is essential if we are to do the best possible job of protecting public health and saving lives.
The FDA staff is dedicated to advancing public health. We are physicians, pharmacists, nurses, engineers, veterinarians, nutritional scientists, microbiologists, chemists, toxicologists, and many other professionals and support staff who share a common mission. All of us have dedicated our professional lives to public health. Over the years we have encountered opinions or ideas brought forward by our stakeholders that have initially seemed promising, only to be found flawed once subjected to sound scientific review. It is why we are always learning and innovating, be it in the regulation of medical products, foods, or tobacco products. It’s why we have a scientific method. And it’s why we have the FDA.