The time has long since come for the U.S. Congress to abolish the Food and Drug Administration.

We’d like to think that FDA officials have only our health and safety in mind when they decide on what food or medicines they’ll allow us to buy. But, sadly enough, they’re as politically motivated as any politician in Washington.

Certain industries and corporations are rewarded, while many others are restricted, punished, or prevented from entering the marketplace. There is no such thing as a regulatory agency that is free from politics. That is all the more reason to keep the FDA out of our personal health care decisions.

FDA regulations have often prevented Americans from gaining access to new life-saving drugs. Examples include major delays in the marketing of drugs used to treat cancer, blood pressure, heart attacks, cholesterol, and strokes

People have suffered unnecessarily — or even died — due to health issues such as heart disease, depression, schizophrenia, kidney cancer, and epilepsy just because FDA officials were afraid of the political consequences they would face if they made even a minor mistake.

What might be considered even worse than the intrusion on personal choice, the FDA, by its very existence, gives people a false sense of security. It cultivates a lazy and complacent population; people assume that a government stamp of approval means that drugs must be safe, and they don’t need to study them at all before consuming them.

But the track record for FDA-approved products hardly inspires confidence. In fact, far more Americans have died using approved pharmaceuticals than others, such as nutritional supplements. Not every product on the market will perform as claimed, and that holds true for the drugs approved by the FDA as well.

For many years, the FDA wouldn’t allow aspirin makers to state on product labels that the medication thinned blood and could possibly save a person from dying if taken during a heart attack. The agency threatened manufacturers with fines or imprisonment if they published this important information on their product labels. Also, natural health solutions are available to treat many diseases today, but these remedies are not accepted by the FDA, and in many cases they are prohibited by the agency. On top of that, under FDA supervision, an estimated one million Americans were never told they were given Hepatitis C-infected blood.

The Imclone scandal serves as another good example of the evils of the FDA. (Yes, it’s the same Imclone that landed Martha Stewart in jail!). At first, the FDA rejected the drug for cancer treatment on the grounds that some of its research and testing procedures weren’t followed to the letter. A year later, after adjusting some procedures and getting paperwork straightened out, the FDA approved the drug – the exact same drug it rejected previously.

What happened? It turned out that the drug was safe. Of course, it was safe right from the beginning, just like Imclone claimed. But, did anyone at the FDA ever think of the number of people who may have suffered or died because they weren’t allowed access to this drug even after it had already undergone extensive testing? This is a drug that works like chemotherapy, but with far less serious side effects. During that additional year of delay, countless people could’ve benefited from its use while the FDA was supposedly protecting them.

The problem, then, is clear. If the FDA keeps both bad information and bad drugs off the market, it also keeps both good information and good drugs off the market. The approval process has become so horrendously expensive that new life-saving drugs are either not brought to market or experience lengthy delays.

Because of this extensive process, the FDA is also directly responsible for high drug costs. Pharmaceutical companies often spend hundreds of millions of dollars to get a single drug to the market. Why? FDA rules make it that expensive. But, unfortunately, many drugs never get FDA approval, and drug companies naturally have to charge extremely high prices for their approved drugs to make up for these great losses. On top of that, big pharma companies end up spending massive amounts of time and money on lobbying so as to ensure that friendly “regulators” are hired, and that drug patent periods are as long as possible.

Much worse, the FDA does not permit U.S. citizens to reimport drugs that sell for anywhere from 30 to 300 percent less outside this nation’s borders. Such limitations keep prices high, and should be considered nothing short of scandalous. Pharmaceutical companies should not be allowed to profit from this government-enforced price fixing, but they do.

Why should you be forced to pay an artificially-inflated price for drugs, when the identical drug is available in Canada, Mexico, or Europe for just a fraction of the cost? To protect people from their own choices, the politicians prevent us from reimporting drugs at huge savings.

The mandate of the FDA is to protect American consumers, but this is based on the assumption that bureaucrats know what’s best for you. It’s based on the assumption that you are an idiot, and that you are unable to research what’s good and bad for you. It’s based on the assumption that you aren’t capable of making responsible choices for yourself. It’s also based on the assumption that all drug-makers and physicians are either unethical or criminal.

The answer is simple even if the solution is not. Get rid of this beast. There’s nothing in the Constitution authorizing its existence anyway.

It’s time to abolish the FDA.

Its current incarnation began just over a century ago, in 1906. Logically, that means that people in this country were able to survive without the FDA for much longer than it’s existed. We, like our ancestors, don’t need a centralized agency giving us rules, guidelines, and orders. We’re able to decide for ourselves what’s best for us. How? By word-of-mouth, doctor recommendations, third-party certifying organizations, reading, or by anything else that the FDA claims to solely provide for you.

The real issue, though, is much deeper. It’s not just whether the FDA does a good job or not. It’s not just whether the FDA is politically motivated or not. It’s not just whether there’s a better system or not. The real issue is this; who makes the decisions for you? You or the government?

The politicians want us to believe that for every situation there is a government solution. But, in a free society, you get to decide what medical treatments or health supplements are right for you.

In abiding by the Tenth Amendment’s mandate for strictly limited government, all agencies not authorized by the Constitution must be abolished. Eliminating the FDA is not only legally required, it’s morally sound.

Getting rid of the FDA would allow you to make important choices according to your own beliefs and values. For the sickest of people, the opportunity to live in a free society such as this would not only be beneficial and just; it may be a matter of life itself.