While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration itself does not accept corporate money, it does receive money funneled via a nonprofit foundation, which receives money from other nonprofits funded by private interests.
The Reagan-Udall Foundation is a nonprofit foundation created by Congress in 2007 to support scientific research that is of interest to the FDA. It accepts grants from government, individual donors and other nonprofits — even when those nonprofits are created and funded by industry.
The Reagan-Udall Foundation has received large donations from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Ellen Sigal, who currently chairs the Reagan-Udall Foundation’s board of directors, is also vice president of the Cancer Moonshot program, funded by the Gates Foundation, and she’s on the board of the Parker Institute, which is partnered with Inovio, a Gates-funded company that is currently working on a COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the rules, no more than four of the 14-member board of the Reagan-Udall Foundation are supposed to be representatives of FDA-regulated industries, yet in 2017, nine of the then 13-member board had financial ties to industry at the time of their appointment.
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