Tag: FDA

Abolishing the DEA Would be Good for Your Health

By Francis Folz | United States

Like most presidents of the 20th century, Richard Nixon was a statist. His policies reflected this throughout his troubled presidency. This, of course, includes the elimination of the gold standard, the institution of wage and price controls, and the creation of unconstitutional federal programs. Most, notably, Nixon created the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

A History of Harm

Since he created the agency, it has been the most prominent overlord of personal responsibility. America has a  long-held claim that it is the land of the free. However, the DEA has usurped every American’s sovereignty, spending millions of dollars on arresting and detaining Americans. What for? Nixon and the DEA claimed that “subversive substances” were a public enemy.

Another adverse quality of the Drug Enforcement Agency is their stifling of medical research on prohibited drugs. From cannabis to LSD, they restrict the ability to research clear health benefits. Here are a few examples of how the DEA restrains medical progress, despite the potential to assuage many Americans’ suffering.

Cannabis and the DEA

The United States has recognized cannabis as a medicine since 1996. Despite this, the DEA’s resistance to reefer and science has been robust. While numerous studies over the past few decades have proven the benefits of marijuana, there is still much more ground to cover. 

For example, it took until 1990 for scientists to discover cannabinoid receptors within the human brain. Cannabis’s designation as a schedule one substance since 1971 has been the most formidable obstacle to delving into marijuana’s myriad of health benefits. Interestingly, the state prohibited the drug far before they even knew of these receptors.

All schedule one illicit drugs, according to the DEA, are dangerous for consumption, highly addictive, and possess no medical value. First of all, it is unconstitutional for the federal government to even create a ranking such as this. But going beyond that, it is absurd for them to consider marijuana a schedule one narcotic.

More than half of all states have some form of medical marijuana, and even the federal government holds a patent for medical marijuana. Furthermore, 85% of Americans believe cannabis should be medically legal. Thus, many wonder why the state still refuses to recognize the drug’s health benefits.

Psilocybin Treatments

Though hard to believe, magic mushrooms, like cannabis, have possessed medicinal and cultural merit for quite a while. However, in the 1970’s, Timothy Leary, a prominent member of the 60’s counter-culture movement, conducted a study called the Concord Prison Experiment. In his study, he distributed psychedelic mushrooms coupled with assisted group therapy to prisoners. He then measured recidivism rates to test the effects of psilocybin-induced treatment. Initially, the results were fruitful, reducing the recidivism rate by 50 percent. 

Another trailblazing psilocybin study conducted in the 1960’s is the “Good Friday Experiment”. Led by doctorate student Walter Pahnke, two groups of theology students attended Good Friday service. Pahnke gave one group the mushrooms and left the other as a control. The objective was to assess whether or not psilocybin could deepen the religious experience. 

As theorized, all members of the psilocybin group reported a substantially more profound experience than the members of the control. These results, as well as others, further discredit the DEA’s claim that psilocybin is a dangerous, addictive substance with no health or therapeutic benefit.

LSD: Lost Past and Lost Potential

In 1938, Swiss scientist Albert Holfmann successfully separated the molecule lysergic acid diethylamide while studying ergot in his laboratory. Ever since his bicycle ride home transformed into a trip of a lifetime, scientists have experimented with LSD, eager to learn of its usefulness. Scientists aren’t the only ones intrigued by the compound. Some historians believe LSD may have been at the crux of the Salem Witch Trials. One plausible explanation is that the women may have ingested ergot, a fungus found on wheat, which contains the LSD.

Although the DEA continues to categorize acid as a perilous substance with no benefit, health or otherwise, to our well-being, the scientific community continues to prove otherwise. Acid is infamous for its ability to stimulate the imagination and to make users more creative and insightful. Other studies conclude that LSD alleviates anxiety, especially amongst the terminally ill. 

But perhaps the most appalling aspect of the DEA’s tyrannical stronghold over the substance is that bromine, a compound identical to acid without the psychedelic-induced trip, has repeatedly reduced cluster headaches, which are intensified migraines notorious for their painful nature. However, since bromine closely resembles LSD, researchers are often unable to further tests bromine’s inexplicable ability to relieve the agony of the horrendous headaches, leaving sufferers helpless and in excruciating misery. 

The DEA, through regulation, is a great threat to the well-being and freedom of Americans. Ending this agency, and Nixon’s failed drug war along with it, would bring a new age of research and medicinal gains. Only through abolishing the DEA can we reap these clear health benefits.


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Babies Across the Globe are Being Born with Three Parents

By Ryan Lau | @agorisms

In 2016, a woman gave birth to the first ever baby with three parents. Yes, you read that correctly. After a Jordanian couple lost two children to the fatal Leigh Syndrome, a disease in the mitochondrial DNA, they sought out Professor John Zhang of the New Hope Fertility Center in New York, who worked on the case in Mexico due to legal complications in his home country.

The DNA of Three Parents

Soon after, the scientist set out to produce a healthy baby for the two. But interestingly, the solution actually came from the inclusion of a third. With a process called pronuclear transfer, Zhang injected healthy mitochondria from a female donor into the mother’s egg cell. Then, he fertilized the egg and sperm, creating a genetically unique human being from three parents and their DNA.

Two years later, that child is over a year old and living a healthy life. And the mother, who believed herself to be effectively infertile due to the fatal disease she carries, is raising her own, growing baby boy.

The genetic makeup of the boy is mostly that of the two parents. Of the over 20,000 genes found in the egg cell, only 37 of them are present in the mitochondria. Thus, replacing a damaged mitochondrion with a healthy one from another woman only inputs 37 of the donor’s genes into the baby.

Not long after the Mexican success story, a number of scientists from across the globe sought to reproduce the effects. By doing so, they believed they could help women with severe mitochondrial diseases be able to still have children.

Increased Awareness and Success

Most notably, efforts began in the United Kingdom and Ukraine. In fact, Doctor Valery Zukin, head of the Ukraine based Nadiya Clinic, boasts to have already helped create four babies in this method. He believes that his efforts are helpful to humanity, especially those who are not able to have their own children.

Speaking to NPR, Zukin pondered, “If you can help these families to achieve their own babies, why must it be forbidden? It is a dream to want to have a genetic connection with a baby.”

Zukin is likely talking about the countries, including the United States, that have banned the practice. In 2017, the FDA warned against the practice, stating they must run their own clinical trial before legalizing it. In a letter to Zhang, they declared that he may not continue his practices in the U.S.

Such actions have clearly not stopped Zhang, who now partners with Zukin in their joint company, DL-Nadiya. Zukin claims that through his institute, he now has three more pregnancies.

Across the continent, United Kingdom researchers today are in the process. This year, the U.K.’s Human Fertilisation and Embreology Authority (HFEA) approved two cases for Newcastle’s Fertility Center at Life to undertake.

This move marks the first time that a country officially sanctions this procedure. In the United States, the law forced the action south of the border. Zukin, on the other hand, has yet to face either approval or rejection from the Ukranian government.

These two British babies may be born to three parents as early as this year. Though they will not be the first to be born in this manner, it appears they also will be far from the last.


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Don’t Like High Drug Prices? Blame the FDA

By Indri Schaelicke | United States

A common talking point in many political debates is the extreme prices of many medical drugs. Left wingers like to blame “greedy capitalism” for the high prices, and advocate for some sort of government program that will increase the size of government in an attempt to cap drug prices. In reality, capitalism is the tool that must be used to bring medical drug prices back down to affordable levels.

The truth is, the US is not a true capitalist free market. Rather, it operates under a system of crony capitalism. Crony capitalism is a system in which representatives agree to give benefits to certain corporations in exchange for campaign contributions. These benefits may take the form of purchases by the government, limiting the corporation’s competition in the market through regulation, and creating loopholes in regulation or taxation. These benefits are paid for using taxpayer money, while the representatives receive financial backing for their campaigns or votes in their next election. Bureaucratic agencies like the FDA create regulations and policies which further cronyism.

A major source of cronyism exists in the FDA’s requirements of extensive research and testing to be done on products it approves to be sold. These studies cost thousands of dollars to companies, which must be covered by increasing the prices of the drugs sold. However, Congress has created “Priority Review Vouchers”, which reviews certain drugs at an expedited pace. These vouchers are incredibly valuable, because the development process for drugs takes many years.

The vouchers can be sold to corporations at a high prices due to their scarcity and the incredible benefit of having the review process sped up. If a company had their new drug approved before any others, they will have no competition in the marketplace for several years and are free to raise their price as high as they like. The FDA has the power to create monopolies, a power that no agency or branch of government should have.

So what’s the solution? Open up the markets. Competition is what drives prices down to affordable levels, and there is no competition in a crony capitalist system. Before the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, the U.S. federal government had control over airline fares, routes and market entry of new airlines. This severely limited the competition in the marketplace to just a few airlines, but soon after the Act was signed, several new ones entered the market. Without the Civil Aeronautics Board to protect them from competition, airlines were forced to set their prices through supply and demand, with competition lowering the equilibrium price of airfare. By deregulating the airfare markets and preventing special interests from lobbying an airline regulatory agency, airfare has become cheaper for consumers.

The same must happen with the way that the market for medical drugs is regulated. The FDA must be abolished, and competition in the market will flourish. Prices will drop due to the influx of competition and life saving drugs will become more affordable to consumers.

A concern of supporters of the FDA is that without it, unsafe and potentially dangerous drugs could slip into the market. However, this can be refuted on the basis that no business has an incentive to create a harmful drug. If harm is done to a consumer, they can sue the business and claim compensation for the damages.

The abolition of the FDA would unleash the power of markets to create and develop new, revolutionary drugs at affordable prices. An effect similar to those seen after the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 would be seen, and bring an end to the crony capitalism enabled by the FDA.


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Conspiracy: Bottled Water Not Regulated

Noah La Vie | DES MOINES, IA

Bottled water chokes the oceans, releases chemicals called phthalates, which are known to disrupt testosterone and other hormones, and can drastically affect the principalities from where the water is drawn.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) declared in 1999 that “no one should assume that just because he or she purchases water in a bottle that it is necessarily any better regulated, purer, or safer than most tap water.”

Things haven’t improved since 1999 as the NRDC article has been updated in 2016 and contained exactly the same text as before; only adding a section on plastic pollution in water.

All this has led to an understanding from certain groups that bottled water is not regulated and to a certain extent, at least federally, it isn’t. The EPA regulates tap water, groundwater extraction by municipals, and water used for any other purpose but to be sold commercially by companies in plastic bottles. The Environmental Protection Agency’s role in regulating the industry is minimal to the point of obscurity. The Food and Drug Administration has done some work but recent evaluations of the industry’s regulation revealed that 70% to 85% of the bottled water industry was going unregulated by the FDA.

“While federal environmental laws may incidentally apply to some bottled water operations, water withdrawals and use are generally the domain of state law. State law governs groundwater withdrawals with a mix of common law rules and more modern regulatory schemes.”

 -Noah Hall 

(Testimony Before the United State House of Representatives
Oversight and Government Reform Committee(

The regulation of bottled water at the federal level is little to non-existent due to successful lobbying and slick marketing by the industry. This all may point to the summation that the industry is unregulated. Conspiracy theorists have seized these symptoms and surface facts and ran with them failing to do crucial deeper research. This has led to marginal beliefs such as that bottled water contributes to a closed third eye, brainwashes us, poisons us, or at its worst: makes us superhuman.

Doing further research would reveal that it is not the federal government who regulates these companies, it is the states. Take a glowing example, Crystal Clear in Iowa. Ordinarily, they would have to follow some basic and lax guidelines from the FDA which is where the conspiracy theories start. Where they end is with SSB 1145 which regulates further what exactly is in bottled water and what encases it. Crystal Clear, therefore, has to make its water as good as or better than tap water and has become successful by regularly doing so.

“Establishing… rules relating to standards for testing for the presence of chemicals in water sold in sealed containers for human consumption. The standards for testing shall not be less stringent than the rules established for public drinking water supplies pursuant to chapter 455B.”

– Iowa Senate Study Bill 1145 (Enacted)

This one paragraph in effect regulates all bottled water in the state of Iowa to be at the very minimum the quality of tap water regulations set by the state. All over the United States, such paragraphs exist: Wyoming, Virginia, Maryland, Arizona, California; these states and more all have similar legalese in their own such legislation.

Bottled Water, like it or not, drink it or not, is regulated by the Government. Perhaps it is not regulated largely by Washington, but regulated it is by the State Governments that are so often overlooked in the application of conspiracy theories. This same solution can be found in most Federal Government Regulation Myths.

It’s not always obvious, it’s not always clear, but water is regulated. The myth of deregulation of bottled water is busted.


71 Republic LLC and Noah La Vie are in no way associated with Crystal Clear Water Co. who were unavailable for comment. Other brands are available.