Artist-activists gather to protest the FDA’s role in fighting the opioid crisis

Approximately 100 protesters and activists gathered around the Department of Health and Human Services building in Washington D.C. on Friday, April 5, 2019 in an effort to push the FDA to more thoroughly address the impacts of opioid crisis. The protesters brought along a giant sculpture of a spoon used to cook heroin, created by artist-activist Domenic Esposito, as well as signs shaped like headstones to contribute to the message. Hyperallergic Media provides Esposito’s commentary:

“The spoon sculpture — engraved with the FDA’s logo — signifies the responsibility the FDA bears in first causing and now fixing this urgent national health crisis,” Esposito said in a statement regarding Friday’s protest. “We deliver customized spoon sculptures to show those responsible that the recovery community and the general public are watching and will not rest until everyone steps up and cooperates in ending this crisis.”

This protest comes as Scott Gottlieb, FDA commissioner, steps down from his role, which will be filled by Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute, according to an update from STAT News.

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