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May 11, 1970

Industrial Pressure and The Population Problem— The FDA and the Pill

JAMA. 1970;212(6):1067-1068. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170190081019

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To the Editor.—  The Friday, Jan 16, 1970, issue of the Washington Post, page A7, quotes one of the eminent scientists who testified at the January hearings of the Nelson Committee as saying "that `industrial pressure' and the `urgency of the population problem' led in 1960 `to a most prompt and indulgent endorsement of the pill' by the Food and Drug Administration and birth control advocates." The story also quotes the same expert as stating that "intensely venal pressures... to neutralize the best efforts of any of us,... who proposed... a more orderly procedure for testing and licensing the pill."The more recent testimony of Dr. Edwards and Dr. Jennings before the same hearings did little to clarify the actual process which occurred in 1960. This is hardly surprising, since neither was on board at the time.Since in 1959 there was only one manufacturer, and we were it, and