Henry I. Miller


Henry I. Miller, MS, MD, was the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at the Hoover Institution. His research focused on public policy toward science and technology, encompassing a number of areas, including pharmaceutical development, genetic engineering in agriculture, models for regulatory reform, and the emergence of new viral diseases.

Miller served for fifteen years at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a number of posts. He was the medical reviewer for the first genetically engineered drugs to be evaluated by the FDA and thus instrumental in the rapid licensing of human insulin and human growth hormone. Thereafter, he was a special assistant to the FDA commissioner and the founding director of the FDA's Office of Biotechnology. During his government service, Miller participated frequently on various expert and policy panels as a representative of the FDA or the US government. As a government official, Miller received numerous awards and citations.

During his time at the Hoover Institution, Miller has become well known not only for his contributions to scholarly journals but also for his articles and books that make science, medicine, and technology accessible. His work has been widely published in many languages. Monographs include Policy Controversy in Biotechnology: An Insider's View; To America's Health: A Model for Reform of the Food and Drug Administration; and The Frankenfood Myth: How Protest and Politics Threaten the Biotech Revolution. Barron's selected The Frankenfood Myth as one of the 25 Best Books of 2004. In addition, Miller has published extensively in a wide spectrum of scholarly journals and popular publications worldwide, including The Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association, Science, the Nature family of journals, Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes, National Review, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the Guardian, Defining Ideas, and the Financial Times. He was a regulator contributor to Forbes.com and frequently appeared on the nationally syndicated radio programs of John Batchelor and Lars Larson.

Miller was selected by the editors of Nature Biotechnology as one of the people who had made the "most significant contributions" to biotechnology during the previous decade. He serves on numerous editorial boards.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

NY Times Editorial Criticizes FDA For Being Too Fast, Too Lenient. Here’s Why The Times Is Wrong

by Henry I. Millervia Daily Caller
Friday, June 22, 2018

The New York Times’ coverage of science and medicine used to be stunning — the province of reporters who knew their trade and devoted decades to it. Harold M. Schmeck, Jr., the dean of U.S. science writers for decades, was at the paper for 32 years. Medical writer and physician Lawrence K. Altman for 40. (Dr. Altman, who is now a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., and is in his eighties, is still an occasional contributor.)

Analysis and Commentary

USDA Is Supposed To Regulate Animal Health, Not Animal Happiness

by Henry I. Miller, Jeff Stiervia Regulation (Cato Institute)
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Last December, regulators at the U.S. Department of Agriculture ruffled a lot of feathers by withdrawing a regulation published on the final full day of the Obama administration that would have created new requirements for producers of “organic” eggs and poultry. 

Analysis and Commentary

Dianne Feinstein's Unscientific Chemical Scare Bill

by Henry I. Miller, Josh Bloomvia Washington Examiner
Friday, June 15, 2018

Chemicals surround us and make up everything in nature — everything we use, eat, and breathe. Yet the mere mention of the presence of chemicals is enough to scare some people.

Analysis and Commentary

Opinion: California’s Java Joke Is A Wakeup Call On Cancer Warnings

by Henry I. Miller, Jeff Stiervia San Jose Mercury News
Friday, June 8, 2018

The International Agency for Research on Cancer is known to cherry-pick data to reach politically motivated findings.

Analysis and Commentary

When ‘Bioethics’ Is Not Ethical

by Henry I. Millervia Daily Caller
Monday, June 4, 2018

Is it possible that bioethics, which is “concerned with the ethics and philosophical implications of certain biological and medical procedures, technologies, and treatments” is sometimes more obstructionist than ethical?

Analysis and Commentary

The ‘Right To Try’ Bill Wasn’t Worth Passing

by Henry I. Millervia The Wall Street Journal
Monday, June 4, 2018

[Subscription Required] I am surprised by your editorial “A Right to Try Arrives” (May 23), which praises just-passed legislation that would permit terminally ill patients to seek drugs not yet approved by the FDA directly from the manufacturer. This alters the status quo hardly at all. As NYU School of Medicine bioethicist Arthur Caplan said, right to try is “nothing more than a right to beg a company, that right already exists, and you’re really not doing much to help anybody gain access to much of anything.”

Analysis and Commentary

Why Not Genetically Engineered Organic Foods?

by Henry I. Miller, John Cohrssenvia Washington Examiner
Sunday, June 3, 2018

USDA’s arbitrary rules about what is permitted for the “organic” designation prohibit important advances in agriculture and food production, and they unnecessarily restrict consumer choice. That could be remedied by expanding what is permitted under the federal National Organic Standards, and this would be an opportune time.

Analysis and Commentary

Perspective: FDA Overreach On Genetically Engineered Animals

by Henry I. Miller, John Cohrssenvia Issues in Science and Technology
Friday, June 1, 2018
The oft-quoted quip "To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail" anticipated the practice of federal agencies expanding their mandate by shoehorning policy initiatives into regulatory regimes for which they were never intended.
Analysis and Commentary

Dishonest Policymaking Stings The European Commission On Honeybee Health

by Henry I. Millervia The Daily Caller
Friday, May 25, 2018
Misconceptions about the physical and biological world can persist long after the science is settled.
Analysis and Commentary

The Flower Industry Gets The Genetic Engineering Blues

by Henry I. Miller, Brenda Silvavia GM Crops & Food
Friday, May 25, 2018

The genetic engineering of plants over the past two decades has led to significant scientific, commercial and humanitarian successes, with more than 2.1 billion hectares cultivated worldwide. The vast majority of cultivation has been huge-scale commodity crops – corn, cotton, canola, soybean, sugar beet and alfalfa - while specialty crops such as fruits, nuts, vegetables and ornamental plants have been underrepresented. The commercialization of genetically engineered (GE) flowers has been especially neglected.