According to an Associated Press report, some members of Congress are upset that FDA has increased spending on bonus payments to retain certain employees, especially reviewers. Well, too bad. There's a reason why these bonuses are needed. Without them, the agency would be severely lacking in expertise. The private sector offers much better pay than the public sector, which means reviewers and other personnel are always at risk of crossing over to work for industry. It also means the top scientists and engineers coming out of school aren't exactly chomping at the bit to work for the agency, either. If Congress thinks the agency hasn't protected the public health as well as it would like to see, imagine how much worse it would be if the most experienced personnel all left. The criticisms show a stunning ignorance of market forces, and a willfull disregard for budget issues. If Congress would appropriate the proper amount required for the agency to fulfill its mission, instead of shortchanging it year after year, this would be much less of an issue. Â
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