Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Amendment emphasizes science’s regulatory role

The amendment proposed by US Representative, Denny Rehberg, would prohibit funds going to the FDA for rule-making activities or guidance unless the Secretary of Agriculture based decisions on ‘hard science’ and determined that the benefit of the rule or guidance justified the action.

Imagine that, basing decisions on actual science! Oh, the gall of Representative Rehberg! Gee, it's no wonder that The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association are all upset about this. I mean, if this passes on the House Floor and moves on to the Senate, they are really going to start quaking in their boots, as this could very well signify the beginning to the end of their standing in the way of the development of a safer (or reduced risk) cigarette. I say that because some of the very ingredients that may help in reducing risk for smokers may (under current conditions) very well end up being prohibited, not for reasons based on science, but for the "reason" that reducing risk may encourage smokers to continue on smoking. It's enough to make your head spin. Who gets to make these decisions on behalf of millions of smokers? Ok, we already know the answer to that. This needs to change.

The development of a safer cigarette (in the U.S.) may very well depend on the passage of this bill, as there have been many studies on certain additives (pine bark, turmeric, etc..) that have been shown to reduce the carcinogenic nature of combustible tobacco by up to 70%! A strategic move towards the direction of harm reduction is going to require that all avenues of science are left open to discussion; that is going to mean that certain ingredients cannot be restricted. This would ultimately put many professional anti-smoking organizations out business, which is why it is so glaringly obvious as to why they are so opposed to certain ingredients that may entice the "children" to smoke. Give me a break. This is about 50 million adult smokers who are soon to become really upset when they find out that the very decisions that are being made on their behalf are not decisions that are based on actual science.

I am going to cross my fingers and hope that this bill makes it all the way to the White House, where President Obama (a smoker himself) will have to make an important choice of whether to side with the aforementioned lobbyists above or with science itself.

This is a very important bill indeed.

Tobacco Reporter Magazine - News


  1. Keep us informed on this one jred.

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