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Medical Firms Fund Fda Critics

One of House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s favorite targets is the Food and Drug Administration.

He recently called the FDA “the leading job killer in America” and Commissioner David Kessler “a bully and a thug.”

Now, the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a tax-exempt organization run by a Gingrich associate, is circulating an outline for a $500,000 study that could privatize many FDA functions.

Foundation documents show that a number of pharmaceutical giants, including Burroughs Wellcome, Searle and Johnson & Johnson, have made significant contributions to the foundation.

In the past two years, the Progress and Freedom Foundation and its president, longtime Gingrich adviser Jeffrey Eisenach, have funneled $432,500 into Gingrich’s weekly college lecture series broadcast to his supporters. Gingrich insists the lectures are educational, not political.

Eisenach says the organization drafted the proposal before asking the companies for money.

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