OP-ED: From corrupted to trusted: (Liberal) America’s shifting perceptions of the FDA


By John W. Roulac

Until recently, most Americans had little trust in the Food and Drug Administration. But when COVID-19 arrived in early 2020, a scared nation deepened in tribal identity and then turned its faith and trust over to the FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Interestingly, during COVID, medical professionals’ trust in the FDA and CDC plummeted. Let’s explore how American perceptions of the FDA have changed and what this faith has delivered to our nation.

The FDA has failed to regulate a toxic food system of disease, inflammation and the destruction of nature via harsh pesticides, leaving Americans with weakened immunity and vulnerability to pathogens. Tragically, the United States has one of the highest COVID-19 death rates in the world.

Study of a captured agency

From the 1980s through 2019, the FDA was not considered trustworthy by the American people and was often described as “corrupt, filled with cronyism, or a captured agency.”

During the 1980s groundswell of the organic food movement, many Americans realized that Monsanto and the chemical industry’s cozy relationship with the FDA was a major issue. Most liberals were not happy with FDA policies that became campaign targets of GMO foods, pesticides, and drugs.

There has been a revolving door of chemical and pharma executives between the FDA and industry, as was the case in 2009 when ex-Monsanto executive Michael R. Taylor was hired as the FDA’s food czar.

FDA approval of dangerous drugs such as Prozac and Vioxx ( has been standard operating procedure. Back in 2012, CBS’ “60 Minutes” ( exposed collusion between the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA on anti-depressants. The majority of the FDA’s drug budget ( is in fact funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

A fall 2019 Gallup Poll ( ranked the pharmaceutical industry as the most poorly regarded industry in Americans’ eyes.

In 2020, as fears of COVID swept the land, the constant drumbeat of fear, isolation and extreme polarization helped cultivate a “collective trauma” ( for the American people. The deepening of tribal identities, and the presence of the QAnon conspiracy movement caused an even deeper distrust of anything associated with Donald Trump.

Shifting tides

Ironically, this all changed when Joe Biden assumed office. Liberals and Democrats flipped rapidly from FDA skeptics to FDA cheerleaders in a matter of months, the perverse logic seeming to be “We hate Trump and now we are on Team FDA-Pharma.”

In July, an Annenberg Public Policy Center Poll found that 77% of Americans
( were confident that the FDA was providing trustworthy information about COVID-19.

Interestingly enough, at the exact same time that the general public’s trust in the FDA and CDC was soaring, healthcare professionals’ trust in the FDA and CDC was dramatically decreasing

The FDA now is trustworthy — really?

It appears the majority of left-leaning Americans believe that the FDA has their best interests regarding COVID policies. As leading clinical physicians remind me, much of what Americans base their opinion on is often simply pharma marketing claims disguised as medical science.

It’s a stunning sociological study to see a mass population trusting leaders of companies with very low ethical standards.

Medical doctors from around the world who focus on early treatment ( send very few patients to the hospitals, whereas countries with high vaccine rates such as the European Union, United Kingdom, and the United States have some of the highest death rates in the world. Regions such as Africa and Northern India had very low rates of vaccination and very low COVID cases and deaths. Tokyo, Japan and Delhi, India’s COVID cases in the latter half of 2021 were 175 to 2,000 times less than London or New York City and their COVID hospital beds were virtually empty. These regions often used early treatment protocols to reduce the spread.

Suppression of  effective treatments

The FDA, media, and the pharma sector have ignored the overwhelming benefits of Vitamin D and lifestyle choices. An Israeli study
( offers the strongest proof yet of Vitamin D’s power to fight COVID. “We found it striking, to see the difference in the chances of becoming a severe patient when you are lacking in Vitamin D compared to when you’re not,” said Dr. Amiel Dror, a Galilee Medical Center physician. The U.S. media virtually never publish positive articles on Vitamin D.

Before COVID, the FDA never issued edicts preventing doctors from prescribing repurposed medicines. Twenty percent of all medicines prescribed in the United States today are generic repurposed. Clinicians do this every day and no long-term studies are required, since safety data are already established.

Dissent equals misinformation

Dissent, and even skepticism, are now being dangerously characterized as “misinformation,” while pharma marketing claims are now often labeled as “science.” Many liberals now want to cancel, restrict or censor their perceived “tribal enemies.”

Wokeism is becoming the tip of the spear for the pharma industrial complex to cancel those that fall out of line. A recent preprint from Kaiser Permanente Northwest ( concluded that “the true incidence of myopericarditis is markedly higher than the incidence reported to U.S. advisory committees” and that “the VSD should validate its search algorithm to improve its sensitivity for myopericarditis.”

Many are beginning to worry about the lack of transparency, misleading narratives, mandates and censorship, yet are afraid to say anything for fear of attacks. As we shift from this pandemic to endemic phase, let’s make an extra effort to play and nurture ourselves more. It’s time.

— John Roulac of Ojai is an author and founder of Nutiva.

This Op-Ed is excerpted from:


Not a subscriber?  choose your subscription plan.