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BOB MOON: President Bush's nominee to head the Food and Drug Administration may be facing a big hurdle. Approval of the appointment might be blocked by members of Bush's own party. Helen Palmer has more.

HELEN PALMER: This time a couple of GOP senators plan to derail von Eschenbach until their demands are met.

Louisiana's David Vitter wants prescription drug imports legalized, and South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint insists FDA pull abortion pill RU 486 off the market.

Observers say overt use of the FDA Commissioner as a political football has escalated.

The Agency's had a confirmed leader for only 18 months since the Bush Administration took office in 2001. Consumer advocates say the lack of consistent leadership puts Americans' health at risk. A recent survey showed half of the FDA's own scientists agree.

The FDA regulates products worth a quarter of the US economy, or nearly $3 trillion.

In Boston, I'm Helen Palmer for Marketplace.