THE BILL, VEHEMENTLY OPPOSED BY THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY, WOULD GRANT THE FDA POWER TO REGULATE CIGARETTE ADDITIVES, WHILE NOT ALLOWING THE AGENCY TO BAN NICOTINE
“The bill would lead to sweeping changes in both the FDA and the tobacco industry,” according to an article in todays Wall Street Journal. Moreover, the bill would codify ideas championed by former FDA Commissioner David Kessler in the 1990s, ideas later struck down by the Supreme Court.
If passed in it’s present form, the bill would:
Allow the FDA to set product standards, which could include LIMITING CERTAIN INGREDIENTS in cigarettes;
Tobacco makers would have to turn over to the FDA extensive information and win FDA approval for claims that products carry reduced health risks;
The FDA would get the ability to regulate advertising of tobacco products.”
Best Beltway gestimates, once again, per the Wall Street Journal, are that the bill will pass out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee later this week and be taken up by the full house shortly thereafter. From there the bill is off to the Senate, where in a surprise development, it has the support of all three Presidential candidates.
It is from there, however, that the road gets bumpy, particularly in that the legislation must then be sent to the FDA commissioner, who as might be expected, “has raised concerns about it.”
So, this is where we come in. The Senate and the House, regardless of how much they would like to think otherwise, work for you and I. Truth be told, so does the FDA Commissioner, though with typical Republican Party arrogance, I doubt he thinks so.
As employers it is our responsibility to inform our employees, writing is usually the best way, how we expect them to vote on a given issue, reminding them, when necessary, that not only do we hold the key to their continued political futures, but that the road is littered with has-been politicians who made the mistake of angering the electorate.
Yes my friends, What I am proposing here that we replace the old model where we trusted our elected officials to do what was best for us with a policy where we scrutinize their every step and call them to answer, criminally if necessary, when they loose focus, even momentarily, on the job that they were elected to do.
Maybe by making an example of fifteen or twenty of our least scrupulous elected officials, the type for whom providing for the well being of Mobil Oil, Cargill, and Citibank is more important than looking out for you and I, the balance will start to swing back to the way that our forefathers imagined it. If not, at least we will be doing our part to increase the literacy curve in the prisons these defrocked politicians are sent to.