Opioids and the FDA – ‘Fox guarding the Henhouse’

Go Lean Commentary

“Absolutely criminal…” – US Senator reviewing the FDA handling of America’s Opioid crisis.

Saying “the grass is not greener on the other side” is just too simplistic a criticism of the American eco-system for pharmaceutical use … and abuse. Pain is real and need to be mitigated, but the American experience is one of dysfunction.

Yet, this is to be expected, when one places the ‘fox to guard the henhouse’.

This is not just our opinion alone. This aligns with the criticism of the FDA’s Former Head; they are supposed to be the Watch-Dog. (While the Watch-Dog for them is supposed to be the US Congress, providing checks-and-balances over the Executive Branch, FDA included). See this related story-criticism here:

VIDEO: Former FDA Head weighs in on Opioid epidemic – https://youtu.be/QEzSJRBQ9RU

CBS Evening News
Posted May 9, 2016 – Each day in America, 78 people die from overdosing on painkillers. Doctor David Kessler, former head of the FDA from 1990 to 1997, called the rise of America’s Opioid crisis “one of the great mistakes of modern medicine.” Jim Axelrod has more.

Yet, still we continue to say, despite the simplicity of the criticism:  the grass is not greener on the American side. Mature communities address the problems that they face; they monitor, manage and mitigate them. To allow a problem to persist, to take lives and then do nothing or little about it makes stakeholders blood-guilty. This is a direct indictment from the Judeo-Christian moral code, the Bible; see the justice standard here:

29 But if a bull was in the habit of goring and its owner had been warned but he would not keep it under guard and it killed a man or a woman, the bull is to be stoned and its owner is also to be put to death. 30 If a ransom* is imposed on him, he must give as the redemption price for his life* all that may be imposed on him. – Exodus 21: 29, 30

[In Bible times], certain deliberate acts that indirectly caused or could have resulted in the death of another person were considered tantamount to deliberate murder. For example, the owner of a goring bull who disregarded previous warnings to keep the animal under guard could be put to death if his bull killed someone. In some cases, however, a ransom could be accepted in place of the life of the owner. Undoubtedly the judges would take circumstances into consideration in such a case. (Ex 21:29, 30) Also, an individual scheming to have another person killed by presenting false testimony was himself to be put to death.—Deuteronomy 19:18-21.

But this standard is not the reality of America, where the original 2 societal defects America was built on still persists:

Shockingly, this indictment of the FDA – who is supposed to protect American people – raises a Caribbean debate:

Is it better to emigrate to America or any other foreign destination for economic success, or prosper where planted in the Caribbean homeland?

The movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean campaigns to inform the people of the Caribbean that life is not idyllic in America, that death is more readily because of a greater disregard of life, especially of those of minority (non-white) ethnicities.

Some might argue that “this” charge is not fair, nor accurate!

And yet … as reported in a previous blog-commentary (and highlighted in the foregoing VIDEO), millions suffer from Opioid addictions – 33,000 die every year.  This is not new, as the evidence suggest this is decades old, and yet the FDA “slept”; truly, the ‘fox guarding the henhouse’.


The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap to introduce the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) to elevate the region’s societal engines – economics, homeland security and governance – of the 30 Caribbean member-states. In fact, the prime directives of the roadmap includes the following 3 statements:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic.
  • Improve Caribbean governance for all people, even minority groups, to support these engines.

The quest of the Go Lean book and movement is to minimize the lure for America to Caribbean citizens. We need our people to Stay Home, and so we want to make the Caribbean region better places to live, work and play. People only leave because they believe that life abroad will be better. So facts to the contrary should go far in quelling such misconceptions.

In this movement for a new Caribbean, we do not want to be like America, we want to be Better! While this is heavy-lifting, it is not impossible, just start without the two known societal defects: Institutional Racism, and Crony-Capitalism.

No one is being fooled, the Opioid crisis in the US has persisted because Big Pharma is profiting. This is what a previous Go Lean commentary lamented, “stupidity persists in society when ‘someone’ is getting rich and want to preserve their profits, even at the expense of human life. This is so familiar, as in the same playbook of Big Tobacco for the entire 20th Century; see/listen to the Podcast in the Appendix below.

When it comes to chronic pain relief, the CDC is asking doctors and patients to think about alternatives to opioids.

We do not want our people to die ignominiously in America due to some opioid overdose. And so, we do not want our citizens to have to leave … in the first place. But the truth is a two-sided coin…

… on the flipside, life in America is more prosperous than in any Caribbean member-state.

(Recently, the American President Donald J. Trump, even referred to the Caribbean member-state of Haiti as a “shit-hole” country).

As related previously, the Go Lean book, in its 370 pages, introduces the Caribbean Union Trade Federation as an inter-governmental agency for the 30 member-states, to provide a better – technocratic – stewardship for Caribbean life, to make it more prosperous … at home. The book identifies that we have a crisis – our failing societal engines – but asserts that this crisis would be a terrible thing to waste. We can use the urgency – we do not want to be bloodguilty –  to introduce and implement effective community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to reboot, reform and transform the economic engines of Caribbean society.

The Go Lean book contends that as a people, we must be prepared for accidents and illnesses – pain is normal. It asserts that bad actors – and bad incidences – will emerge just as a result of economic successes in the region. This point is pronounced early in the book with the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12) that claims:

xi. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices … to assuage continuous threats against public safety.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes, including piracy and other forms of terrorism, can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

As related above, for us to become a mature society, we must address the risks and problems that we face; we must monitor, manage and mitigate them. The Go Lean book describes the need for the Caribbean to appoint “new guards” to protect the people, not exploit them, this should be a lesson learned from the US. The purpose of the CU security pact will be to ensure public safety as a comprehensive endeavor, encapsulating the needs of all Caribbean stakeholders: residents and visitors alike.

Consider this sample of previous blog-commentaries that have expanded on this theme:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=13746 Security Dreams for the Caribbean Basin
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=13251 A Better Way to Manage Hurricane Risks
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=12949 Being Mature to Handle Charity Management
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=12930 Managing Dangers, Disasters and Emergencies
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=11808 Not Ignoring the Public Health Risks of ‘Concussions’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=11654 Righting A Wrong – A Series on Ensuring Public Safety: Air Bags
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10959 See Something; Say Something; Do Something
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10771 Logical Addresses – It Could Mean ‘Life or Death’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2105 Monitoring the Risks of Economics on Public Health

We want to “live long and prosper”. We want to prosper right here in the Caribbean. How sad it would be for a family to move to the US (and other countries) and fall victim to a voluntary opioid addiction … and overdose … and death.

So we urge all Caribbean stakeholders to lean-in for the empowerments of this Go Lean roadmap. It is conceivable, believable and achievable to plant here and prosper here in our Caribbean region.

Yes, we can make our homelands better places to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for the roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix AUDIO – Opioids As The New Big Tobacco – https://www.npr.org/2017/06/30/534969884/opioids-as-the-new-big-tobacco

Posted June 30, 2017 – A wave of litigation by state attorneys general against the biggest opioid manufacturers and distributors feels reminiscent of lawsuits brought by states in the 1990s against the tobacco industry.


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