Docket Management
Docket: 02N-0209 - Request for Comment on First Amendment Issues
Comment Number: EC -380

Accepted - Volume 6

Comment Record
Commentor Ms. Sue Kangiser Date/Time 2002-09-10 10:30:18
Organization Ms. Sue Kangiser
Category Individual

Comments for FDA General
8. Do FDA's speech-related regulations advance the public health concerns they are designed to address? Are there other alternative approaches that FDA could pursue to accomplish those objectives with fewer restrictions on speech? Corporations should not be allowed the same First Amendment protections as individuals. Their aim is to sell. The FDA is responsible for protecting individuals from those who would compromise the public's safety in the name of financial profit. When corporations enjoy First Amendment protections it essentially nullifies the speech rights of individuals, since individuals cannot afford the massive advertising campaigns that corporations wage, and so cannot talk back. Restrictions on the advertising of tobacco, alcohol, gambling and pharmaceuticals are essential for protecting public health. Of all the problems facing our country, insufficient advertising of cigarettes, liquor, etc. is not one of them. Corporations seduce children to nag for junk food and other items that many parents oppose. Children are especially vulnerable to advertising, because corporations use sophisticated psychological techniques to trick them, and because children lack the maturity to deal with these techniques. Due largely to the assault of marketing to children, there have been marked increases in marketing-related diseases, such as childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes. For the FDA, public health should be a higher priority than protecting corporations or their right to advertise. Corporations are far too powerful already. The FDA should seek the right balance between individuals and corporations in the arena of public health, and not tip it further towards corporations and their lobbyists in our nationís capital. In addition, the FDA should work hard to maximize its authority to regulate commercial speech because: Direct-to-consumer drug advertising exists primarily to promote the sale of drugs, not to educate. Although the FDA does not currently have jurisdiction over tobacco, there are many proposals to give it such jurisdiction. If the FDA gains jurisdiction over tobacco, but has little power to regulate advertising, it would not be able to protect public health from the tobacco companies. Advertising of tobacco should be illegal in the United States.

EC -380