Henry I. Miller

Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy

Henry I. Miller, MS, MD, is the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at the Hoover Institution. His research focuses 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.

Since coming to 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 is a regulator contributor to Forbes.com and frequently appears 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

To Market, To Market

by Henry I. Millervia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 19, 2015

The FDA finally admits genetically enhanced potatoes and apples are safe. A sorry tale of bureaucratic timidity and inertia.

Analysis and Commentary

Revolution And Reaction In Biopharming

by Henry I. Millervia Project Syndicate
Friday, June 19, 2015

Obtaining medicines from plants is not new. Aspirin was first isolated from the bark of the willow tree in the eighteenth century. And many other common pharmaceuticals, including morphine, codeine, and the fiber supplement Metamucil, are purified from the world’s flora.

Analysis and Commentary

Germline Gene Therapy: We're Ready

by Henry I. Millervia Science Magazine
Friday, June 19, 2015

Germ line gene therapy could be the only means to treating certain genetic diseases, but some in the scientific community are calling for an indefinite moratorium on its use. But shouldn’t 21st-century medicine offer the possibility of repairing embryos that will become patients with sickle-cell disease and eliminate the disease from future generations? We don’t need a moratorium. We need to push the frontiers of medicine to cure more patients.

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Analysis and Commentary

Will CDC Sacrifice Kids To Cut Healthcare Costs?

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Thursday, June 18, 2015

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lately appears to have assumed a role that was never intended: reducing the ability of vaccines to save lives. Next week we’ll see whether this trend continues, as the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) makes critical recommendations about vaccination to prevent an often-lethal disease of children and adolescents.

Analysis and Commentary

Has Whole Foods Finally Figured Out That Organic Foods Are Jaded And Overrated?

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Whole Foods has introduced a rating system for produce and flowers, “Responsibly Grown,” which is based on a number of factors. It has enraged organic farmers, who think that the designation “organic” automatically entitles them to superior ratings. They’re wrong.

Analysis and Commentary

The Risks Of Mislabeled Risk

by Henry I. Millervia Project Syndicate
Friday, June 5, 2015
Increasing numbers of supposedly health-conscious consumers are choosing products with “free from” labels, from “BPA-free” plastics to “non-GMO” foods. But such labels do not increase public safety.
Analysis and Commentary

Misunderstanding The Nexus Between National Security And Environmental Issues: Back To The Future

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Government officials continue to misunderstand the nexus of national security and environmental issues by exaggerating the latter, in a way that inhibits R&D and commerce.

Analysis and Commentary

A Faustian Bargain On Food Regulation

by Henry I. Miller, Drew L. Kershenvia National Review
Monday, June 1, 2015
The gratuitous controversy continues over whether foods from plants and animals that have been genetically engineered should be labeled as such. The battle has been fought in the media, in state legislatures, through referendum issues, and in federal courts. Most labeling proposals have failed.
Analysis and Commentary

EPA's Dirty Little Secret: Its Regulation Prevents Effective Oil-Spill Cleanup

by Henry I. Millervia Forbes
Monday, May 25, 2015

Oil that leaked from a ruptured pipeline is fouling one of the most picturesque parts of California’s coastline. The company that operated the pipeline has a poor safety record, but with all the finger-pointing and commentary, nobody has mentioned the government’s dirty little secret: What could have been an effective high-tech method to clean up oil spills was killed by EPA regulators.

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Bureaucrats Battle Science

by Henry I. Millervia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

In biotechnology, overregulation has stifled economic growth and human ingenuity