Felix Gallardo is a college graduate, turned federal police agent, turned drug-trafficking Lord of the infamous Guadalajara cartel.
In the 1970s Gallardo began growing and selling billions of dollars worth of drugs each year. Everyone was on his payroll. Police officers, governors, judicial officers. Can you imagine that? The Mexican government, their law enforcement and intelligence agencies, the media — all working to assist and protect a criminal.
Gallardo was a part of the political class. So much so that they relied on him during campaign season. In 1988, during the middle of an election, while votes were being tallied, the tallying system suddenly crashed. Votes stopped being calculated. And when it came back online, the candidate that the cartel wanted to win — who was previously trailing — suddenly won. That’s true power — rigging an election to elect a desired politician and getting away with it.
But Felix made a mistake. He sent crooked police officials to kidnap and murder an American DEA agent who was snooping around in his business. Gallardo’s men injected their victim with adrenaline to keep him awake throughout his torture and interrogation, before drilling a hole into his brain. It was a brutal, horribly graphic crime. One which triggered the largest DEA homicide investigation ever.
It took years, but Felix was eventually arrested in 1989 and today, is still rotting in an 8×14 foot cell.
There’s something very American Dream about Felix Gallardo — especially the part about paying the right people, buying protection from the political class and immunity from the media. Yeah, there’s nothing more American than that.
Which brings me to the FDA.
The Food and Drug Administration is the oldest comprehensive consumer protection agency in the federal government, and its regulatory role began because there was a chemist who was concerned about chemical preservatives in food.
What started as a relatively small regulatory agency soon ballooned in size and scope after FDR signed into law that all cosmetics and medical devices in America needed to be approved by the federal government.
Flash forward to 2017, when CNN published a piece entitled “Nearly a third of FDA-approved drugs had problems, study finds.”
A third? That doesn’t surprise me at all and it shouldn’t surprise you either — if you’ve been paying attention.
For example — did you know that the FDA has a 5.9 billion dollar budget, $2.7 billion of which is paid for by industry fees? That’s right, 45% of their budget comes from the manufacturers of the products and drugs they approve. That’s what “Industry fees” are.
You’re probably wondering — how is that legal? How is that not a conflict of interest? Well, that power was given to them during a different global pandemic.
During the HIV epidemic, the FDA gained authorization to collect fees from companies that produce drugs and products for humans, because apparently, they realized there was a need to approve drugs faster.
But still, “trust the experts!” they say. Always. Forever. No matter what, trust the experts. They’ve never gotten it wrong.
Except, apparently, a lot.
It was the experts who once upon an American horror story, allowed for the advertisement of DDT—a harmful insecticide, to pregnant women. It was later banned in 1972.
The experts once prescribed Heroin — actual heroin— as a cough suppressant. At the time, all the medical literature indicated it was going to be promising.
It was the experts who said Asbestos was a miracle mineral until they realized it’s poison.
But Trust the experts, even though, yes, sometimes they accept money and lie to the American public. Like when big tobacco paid billions to the right people in exchange for the promotion of their deadly products. Physicians, doctors, medical journals — they all promoted cigarettes. In 1963, the FDA stated that tobacco did not meet their hazardous criteria.
But so what? They got it wrong. That was then, this is now, right? Medicine has improved, after all. Just look at the country now thanks to the blessing of big pharma and vaccines.
America, the most medicated country in the world.
And yet, across OECD Countries — that’s countries with similar GDPs to ours — we rank 28th out of 36 in life expectancy.
We rank last in terms of the prevalence of obesity.
But who cares? Trust the science. Trust the FDA. Suspend rational, independent thinking and do as they say.
Trust the FDA, which in 2006 approved silicone gel-filled breast implants. In the years that followed, women have been reporting illness — hair loss, pain, memory loss, depression, neurological disease. This is now referred to colloquially as breast implant illness — I refer to it as common sense — but the FDA and the medical industry hardly acknowledge the illness.
They do, however, admit that removing the implants can relieve the symptoms. They also acknowledge that breast implants have been associated with a type of Hodgkin’s lymphoma — cancer of the immune system — but they haven’t yet revoked their approval because… why would they? Breast implants are a billion-dollar industry and, well, industry fees.
Which explains the current opioid crisis — an FDA-approved epidemic. For 25 years, opioid manufacturers disseminated false claims regarding the risks and benefits of their products but the FDA didn’t care. They approved it anyway. They allowed opioids to be marketed as safe and ignored every medical journal that demonstrated otherwise.
Pop quiz: which company holds the record for paying the second-largest criminal fine in U.S History? Pfizer! In 2009, they paid out $2.3 billion in a criminal and civil liability suit — the largest healthcare fraud settlement in history at the time — for the marketing of a drug called BEXTRA, which was withdrawn from the market in 2005 for safety concerns, and other drugs.
Nobody went to prison of course, because why would they?
The largest operative drug cartel that has ever existed in the history of the world is Big Pharma.
They’ve killed millions. But they always pay the right people, and that’s what matters most.
Felix Gallardo forgot to pay the right people. If he had, maybe he would have only been made to pay a fine. And then he could have gone on to kill many more people. If he had just opened up his pocketbook, he might have even been allowed to fast track the approval of some of his drugs — for emergency reasons only of course.
Maybe Felix could have even been completely removed from any and all liability pertaining to the side effects of his drugs?
And it’s going to sound fantastical but — for the right price — he might have even convinced politicians to issue mandates to force the entire population to consume his drugs against their free will.
But what do I know? I’m not a medical “expert” like the rest of them.
Which is maybe why you should listen.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.