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

Does Chocolate Milk Come From Brown Cows? No, Seriously

by Henry I. Millervia Newsweek
Saturday, December 23, 2017

After a spate of politicians' resignations, there has been a lot of rhetoric recently from members of Congress about needing to hold their colleagues to a “higher standard” than other citizens.

Analysis and Commentary

We Should Stop Funding The Offensive Absurdities Of The United Nations

by Henry I. Millervia Newsweek
Friday, December 22, 2017

On Thursday, in a rare emergency session, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution (128-9, with 35 abstentions) calling on the Trump administration to rescind its decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, which thereby recognized it as the nation’s capital.

Analysis and Commentary

How The FDA Virtually Destroyed An Entire Sector Of Biotechnology

by John Cohrssen, Henry I. Millervia Regulation (Cato Institute)
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Dogs bark, cows moo, and regulators regulate,” former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner Frank Young once quipped to explain regulatory agencies’ expansionist tendencies. There may be no better example than the FDA’s oversight of genetically engineered animals.

Analysis and Commentary

‘The Case Of The Missing Frog’

by Henry I. Millervia The Washington Times
Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sherlock Holmes it isn’t. But Weyerhaeuser v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, a case seeking review by the Supreme Court, could be called, “The Case of the Missing Frog.” In this amphibian equivalent of an Arthur Conan Doyle mystery, the government seeks to seize control of land it does not own, to protect an endangered species of frog that does not live there, force private landowners to tear down a healthy native forest, and install at landowner expense a new forest the landowner does not want.

Analysis and Commentary

Why So Many Scientific Studies Are Flawed And Poorly Understood

by Henry I. Miller, S. Stanley Youngvia Genetic Literacy Project
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Should we believe the USA Today headline, “Drinking four cups of coffee daily lowers risk of death”? And what should we make of, “Mouthwash May Trigger Diabetes...”? Should we really eat more, not less, fat?

Fake News Is Bad Enough. But Fake Science Is Even More Dangerous

by Henry I. Miller
Thursday, December 7, 2017

Few people remember the specifics of what they learned in their high school science classes. But science has everyday importance.

Analysis and Commentary

Solve US Drug Shortages With Imported Medicine That Measures Up To FDA Standards

by John Cohrssen, Henry I. Millervia The Hill
Thursday, November 30, 2017

Occasionally we encounter a simple tweak in public policy that would be a win-win -— if it weren’t for politicians, bureaucrats and stakeholders zealously guarding their self-interest. An example is a reform that would both help combat shortages of critical drugs and put downward pressure on prices: reciprocity of drug approvals between FDA and certain foreign counterparts.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Scientifically Illiterate America

by Henry I. Millervia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Citizens must have a basic knowledge of science to understand today’s policy issues. 

Analysis and Commentary

When Good Intentions Bang Heads With Unintended Consequences

by Henry I. Millervia Newsweek
Monday, November 20, 2017

With phrases like “Better safe than sorry” and “Look before you leap,” it’s clear that concerns about risk are a part of our vernacular – and our psyche. Unfortunately, when we take those clichés to heart, we often end up plagued by another one, “Out of the frying pan and into the fire.”

Analysis and Commentary

A Plea For The Renewal Of The ISBR

by Henry I. Miller, Giovanni Tagliabue, Marcel Kuntz, Klaus Ammannvia Cell Press Reviews
Friday, November 17, 2017

The recent meeting of the International Society for Biosafety Research (ISBR) focused on so-called genetically modified organisms. For decades, in most regulatory frameworks, recombinant DNA-modified organisms have been the wrong focus of unbalanced agri-food regulations. The ISBR should instead adopt a scientifically defensible and truly risk-based perspective, abandoning a misleading pseudo-category.