"Government Calls Conference to Study 2 Deadly Infections", including "one that killed four California women who took an abortion pill."
Fifteen to 20 scientists who have studied the two bacteria have been asked to present their research at the conference, scheduled for May 11, an official at the Food and Drug Administration said Friday. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the abortion pill, Mifeprex or RU-486, is so controversial that some officials have been threatened after speaking about it publicly.Is that so? I seriously doubt those threatening would be pro-life people. In fact, I'm 100% certain they weren't pro-life people. How can I be sure? Because we didn't hear about said threats in the news media. Not. one. peep.
Security at the conference will be unusually tight, the official said. It will be held in an auditorium at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta ... The National Institutes of Health will also participate in the conference.From the New York Times article by Gardiner Harris, February 11, 2006
Officials are concerned that the political controversy swirling around medical abortions may interfere with the scientific discussion, the F.D.A. official said in an interview.
"We hope to keep the focus on the science," the official said. "We're holding this in a secure government facility for a reason."
The two bacteria are Clostridium sordellii and Clostridium difficile, which generally live in the soil and in human intestinal tracts. Both thrive in environments with limited oxygen. When these bacteria infect the bloodstream, they can produce a toxin that causes something akin to toxic shock syndrome.
People infected with Clostridium sordellii, the one that caused the RU-486 deaths, often fail to understand their peril until too late in part because the infections often do not produce fevers.
The F.D.A. has added strong warnings to the drug's label, describing the dangers of the bacteria. But officials say that they have no idea whether Mifeprex makes patients vulnerable to such infections.
HT: reader Tom McG.
ALSO: Dawn Eden has much more ammo on this story, including an extensive demand by Rep. Mark E. Souder (R-Ind.) to Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D., Acting Commissioner or the U. S. Food and Drug Administration.
A commenter at Dawn's post remarked on something she'd written:
"It seems to me that if an official feared retribution for speaking about a probe of the drug's safety, the threats must have come from supporters of the drug."My reply:
Think a little harder. If the official works for the FDA, what do you think s/he could be worried about? (hint: it rhymes with shmetaliation)
jpe | Email | Homepage | 02.12.06 - 5:34 pm | #
Nowhere does the article say it was threats of retribution. It merely said "some officials have been threatened after speaking about it publicly."
If it was retaliation from inside the FDA, then there'd be no point and no need for "Security at the conference will be unusually tight" or "holding this in a secure government facility."