Ethics in Medicine

FDA Whistle Blowers on Radiation Hazards Victims of Surveillance

Kristen Sparrow • July 29, 2012

Again, this was a “lost post.”  So will just briefly link to the discussion.  We’ve discussed the hazards of radiation in the blog before.  But this Democracy Now radio segment talks about the FDA doctors who blew the whistle on serious health hazards and safety violations of CT colonoscopy devices that delivered 600 to 800 times the radiation doses compared to other similar machines.  The FDA has become as corruped as industry it would appear.  Here is the link to the original NYTimes article outlining the radiation hazards.
STEPHEN KOHN: OK. Well, I’m representing the seven FDA doctors and scientists who blew the whistle on serious health and safety violations on medical devices being approved by the FDA. One CT colonoscopy device that they exposed made it onto the market, 600 to 800 times the radiation dosage of similar devices that are more effective. I mean, you’re talking about a lot of political pressure, a lot of financial pressure, that’s just totally outrageous in the medical and FDA context.
AMY GOODMAN: And the corporation that owned these devices?
STEPHEN KOHN: Major corporations. This particular device and similar devices, General Electric. Now, what these scientists at—well, I’ll tell you how it was discovered, this large domestic surveillance operation. One of these scientists was applying for a job and just went on to Google to see what FDA was saying about him or her—we’re keeping this person’s identity confidential—and discovered that FDA had uploaded on Google thousands and thousands…
Scientists Say F.D.A. Ignored Radiation Warnings
WASHINGTON — Urgent warnings by government experts about the risks of routinely using powerful CT scans to screen patients for colon cancer were brushed aside by the Food and Drug Administration, according to agency documents and interviews with agency scientists.
After staying quiet for a year, the scientists say they plan to make their concerns public at a meeting of experts on Tuesday called by the F.D.A. to discuss how to protect patients from unnecessary radiation exposures. The two-day meeting is part of a growing reassessment of the risks of routine radiology. The average lifetime dose of diagnostic radiation has increased sevenfold since 1980, Again, this was a lost driven in part by the increasing popularity of CT scans. Such scans can deliver the radiation equivalent of 400 chest X-rays.