What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Freedom of Scientific Inquiry : H.R. 2744. Appropriations/Agriculture/Vote on Amendment to Prohibit Scientists with Conflicts of Interest from Serving on Food and Drug Administration Advisory Panels. (2005 house Roll Call 232)
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H.R. 2744. Appropriations/Agriculture/Vote on Amendment to Prohibit Scientists with Conflicts of Interest from Serving on Food and Drug Administration Advisory Panels.
house Roll Call 232     Jun 08, 2005
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

In this vote, the House passed an amendment to H.R. 2744 offered by Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) to prohibit scientists from serving on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panels if they have conflicts of interest with regard to the makers of the objects they were charged with evaluating. H.R. 2744 was a bill to make appropriations for (fund) the Agriculture Department and the Food and Drug Administration for fiscal year 2006 (FY06). Noting that "[t]he amendment does not change current law; it simply makes sure that the FDA is adhering to current law[,]" Hinchey argued that there ought to be "no question as to whether the committee members are looking out for the public health." He stated that a few recent incidents had cast doubt on the impartiality of some panel members. Most Republicans opposed the amendment, arguing that due to the structure of the medical industry, the amendment would eliminate most top doctors from offering their expertise as members of these panels. Much medical research is funded by drug or related companies, they maintained, so that most accomplished doctors have worked on projects funded by such companies at some point in their careers. Progressives won this vote when the House passed this amendment 218 to 210, with 32 Republicans crossing party lines to vote "yes" with Progressives and 12 Democrats crossing party lines to vote "no" with Republicans. Thus, language prohibiting scientists from serving on advisory FDA panels if they have a conflict of interest was included in the FY06 agriculture appropriations bill.

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