This morning’s New York Times features an editorial discussing Peter Barton Hutt’s before the House subcommittee responsible for FDA oversight. Mr. Hutt warned that the FDA was "barely hanging on by its fingertips;" others testifying before the subcommittee suggested the agency lacked funds and staffing to do its job:
In a hearing before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, members of the agency’s own scientific advisory board outlined the F.D.A.’s many weaknesses. It lacks scientists who understand rapidly emerging technologies — including genomics and nanotechnology — relevant to product safety. The agency is further hobbled by a high turnover rate of scientists, a decrepit information technology system, a weak organizational structure, and a shrinking inspection force.
That said, FDA has been researching nanotechnology issues for some time — it formed its Nanotechnology Task Force in August 2006. Still, it’s interesting that nanotechnology safety issues have even found their way to the editorial page of the New York Times.