Von Eschenbach is My Muse


On the off chance you missed last month's star-studded performance of the "FDA Centennial Anthem" by the "FDA Chorus and U.S. Public Health Service Wind Ensemble," reader Brad Onstad kindly sends along this must-read roundup of reviews:

One of the agency's sharpest critics, Sidney Wolfe, director of the Public Citizen Health Research Group, describes the lyrics as "ridiculous"' and "degenerate." "There's nothing in there, of course, about regulation," says Wolfe, whose Washington-based group monitors the FDA's drug oversight. "Don't they have any kind of self-consciousness?"

Sen. Ted Kennedy was equally unamused. CSPI'S Michael Jacobson? Hated it. The guy who wrote it, though, was profoundly moved:

"I just got to thinking about trying to express my feelings about my job with some words and music," says Harris, who has worked at the FDA for 35 years…

For weeks, Harris sat in the corner of his basement, sometimes staying up until midnight after a full day of work. He used an electric keyboard hooked up to his computer to compose the anthem.

Lyrics to the 126-word regulatory love-letter are here. And oh yes, there is video.