News Releases

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today voted against the nomination of Lester Crawford as FDA Commissioner. Murray, who released her ‘hold’ on Crawford’s nomination after receiving a commitment that a decision would be made on the over-the-counter application status of Plan B by September 1st, today made the following statement:

“Today I voted against the confirmation of Dr. Lester Crawford to be commissioner of the FDA. Last week I agreed, along with Senator Clinton, to release my hold on Dr. Crawford’s nomination after receiving the guarantee of an up or down decision on the over-the-counter status of Plan B. After endless delay, FDA has finally agreed to give women across the country what we have fought for from the beginning – a yes or no decision.

While I was pleased to receive assurances that the agency will, in the coming weeks, deliver a long overdue decision on Plan B, concerns about Dr. Crawford's leadership remain. I have been continually concerned during Dr. Crawford’s tenure that FDA hasn't shown the independence and adherence to science necessary to inspire public confidence.

In recent months, FDA’s reputation as a global leader in public health and safety has been tarnished. We must have strong, independent leadership to restore the confidence of patients, consumers and health care providers. As FDA tackles the considerable challenges that lay ahead, there can be no question of the integrity or independence of the Commissioner. I hope that Dr. Crawford will be this type of leader and my concerns will be proven wrong.

The FDA must be an agency that will adhere to sound science and a strong public health mission while resisting at all costs attempts at political influence. I hope that Dr. Crawford will work to ensure that FDA recommits itself to this core mission so that all Americans can gain confidence in this most important agency.”