Dangerous illegal drugs seized by U.S. Customs:

A U.S. Customs policy to step up seizures of prescription drugs from Canada is raising protests in Congress and allegations from [Florida] Sen. Bill Nelson that it might be a ploy by the Bush administration to force Americans into the new Medicare prescription-drug plan.


Nelson, D-Fla., has called for an investigation by officials at the Department of Homeland Security, which includes Customs, into whether the crackdown was linked to the administration's drive to sign up seniors for the new Medicare plan. Nelson's staff said he has received 140 calls from seniors complaining in the past week or so.

Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., said he doesn't see any political motivation for stepping up the seizures but would like to see the Canadian imports legalized.

The article says that 10% of Florida seniors order their prescriptions from Canada or Mexico. A Customs spokesperson said the drugs are being seized because importing prescriptions is illegal and the drugs could be dangerous because they don't undergo FDA safety testing and approval.

Would that be the same FDA safety testing of drugs like Vioxx? And has anyone alerted the millions of Canadian taking these drugs that they could be dangerous?

The article also says Customs has begun releasing the seized drugs to seniors. I'm confused. If the drugs are illegal and so dangerous, why are they giving them back to the seniors who ordered them?

Regardless, what does it say about the Medicare Part D program if all these seniors are willing to buy illegal drugs that may be dangerous to their health rather than participate?