FDA Articles

The FDA Learned Nothing from Ebola

But it’s not too late.
Nov 09, 2015

Think back to the Ebola chaos of last year. Nobody except the caregivers came away looking good​—​not the White House, not the Department of Health and Human Services, not the World Health Organization, not Congress, not most of the media.

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Government Watchdogs Hot on the Case

2:42 PM, Aug 26, 2015

Marina Koren at Government Executive writes that the Food & Drug Administration recently “sent a warning letter to the makers of Just Mayo, a vegan mayonnaise spread."

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A Misguided FDA Crusade

The case for leaving cigarette flavorings alone.
Jul 20, 2015

From Brussels to Chicago to the headquarters of the Food and Drug Administration in White Oak, Maryland, public health officials, antismoking crusaders, and mayors are waging a battle against flavorings for both tobacco cigarettes and newer e-cigarettes. 

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How About Rights for Trans Fats?

Jul 20, 2015

In all the hubbub around the Supreme Court’s big end-of-session rulings on same-sex marriage and Obamacare, some high-level banana-republicanism was overlooked. The FDA has given American food manufacturers three years to get the “trans fat” out of their food. Trans fat, as you may know, is a type of fat that’s partially hydrogenated—reacted with hydrogen—to discourage its melting at room temperature.

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With Little Regard for Science, Obama Targets Livestock and Meat

6:45 AM, Jun 08, 2015

The Obama administration on June 2 convened the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship, “to bring together key human and animal health constituenc

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FDA to Amend Ban on Gay Men's Blood to Allow Donors Who Haven't Had 'Sexual Contact' in Last Year

1:27 PM, Dec 23, 2014

The FDA will seek to change the ban on gay men's blood, so long as the donor hasn't had sexual contact in the last year. 

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FDA Recruits Minors For Online Cigarette Purchases

7:04 AM, Dec 01, 2014

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently solicited quotes from contractors to recruit minors ages sixteen and seventeen to purchase "regulated tobacco products" on the Internet. The purchase attempts must be made from a facility located in Virginia and shipped to a P.O. Box provided by the FDA for purposes of this probe. The FDA is careful to note that the contractor must "debrief minors on the dangers of tobacco use" and that the minors "[agree] NOT to attempt to purchase tobacco products" outside of the FDA investigation.

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Failing to Rise to the Challenge

What the FDA should learn from Ebola.
Dec 01, 2014

In the froth and frenzy surrounding Ebola reaching America, a surprisingly unprepared Department of Health and Human Services, particularly the Centers for Disease Control, largely failed to rise to the challenge. The FDA contributed to, and continues to contribute to, that lack of preparedness. Both HHS secretary Sylvia Burwell and President Obama’s Ebola “response coordinator” Ron Klain need to intervene.

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Food Fight

On catfish, farmed and wild.
Aug 11, 2014

There isn’t much left in life that is unregulated and without some degree of government supervision or protection. You get used to it, I suppose. And, anyway, you don’t have much choice. But you do need to pay attention because nothing is off limits.

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Feel the Burn

11:12 AM, Jul 29, 2014

If you like going out in the sun or, perhaps, must do so because of your work and you don’t want to get burned, there is good news. Of a sort.  

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The FDA Returns to Its Dark Ages

7:14 AM, Apr 14, 2014

Politics at its best brings people and groups together in unexpected ways. Although the Reagan administration responded sluggishly to the emergence of HIV in the 1980s, its last FDA commissioner, Frank Young, reached out to the very HIV activists who had for years made life miserable for him and other HHS officials.

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FDA Seeks Expensive Video Brochures to Implement Anti-Smoking Law

1:05 PM, Mar 21, 2014

The Food and Drug Administration is soliciting information and comment on brochure technology it's exploring as part of its mandate to implement the Tobacco Control Act, a law signed by President Obama during his first year in office.

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Michelle Obama to Push Changes to Nutrition Facts Label

8:25 AM, Feb 27, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama wants to make changes to the Nutrition Facts label. It is all "part of an effort to help families make healthier choices," according to the White House.

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FDA Seeking Gum Chewing Tester

8:29 AM, Jan 03, 2014

The Food and Drug Administration is seeking a small business to potentially supply the federal agency with a chewing gum tester.  Despite the frivolous sounding nature of the announcement, the search is a serious one, and apparently a growing need.

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The FDA vs. Information

Dec 09, 2013

It’s difficult to think of a company doing anything as gee-whiz neat as 23andMe. The Mountain View, Calif., firm, which opened its doors to the public in 2007, provides comprehensive genetic tests to anybody with $99 to spend. Customers send in a saliva sample and about six weeks later get access to a detailed website explaining their unique genetic code along with an opportunity to connect with (usually distant) relatives who have also done business with 23andMe.

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Thank You for Not Vaping

The irrational hostility to e-cigarettes.
Aug 05, 2013

Smokeless, odorless, and, indeed, tobacco-less, electronic cigarettes, or “e-cigarettes,” in common parlance, are projected to become a $1 billion industry this year. Yes, that’s “electronic” cigarettes: battery-powered gadgets that convert liquid nicotine into vapor, which the user inhales. The act is known—unfortunately, if accurately—as “vaping.” (It’s important to note that one doesn’t smoke an e-cigarette.) Some e-cigs are made to closely resemble actual cigarettes—they have the same shape and color and even an LED light at the end, designed to simulate a lit butt.

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FDA Seeks 'Data Mining and Targeting Software'

1:35 PM, Jun 20, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations is soliciting bids for "Data Mining and Targeting Software" to help in its efforts to combat illegal trafficking in cigarettes and other tobacco products.

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Feds to Allow Nicorette to Ease Off Warning Labels

8:56 AM, Apr 02, 2013

The federal government will now allow companies that sell "nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products," such as Nicorette, not to put warning labels on their merchandise, the Food and Drug Administration announced. The change, the FDA now admits, is because the warnings, which were mandated for the last 30 years, were misguided from the very beginning.

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Feds Raise Hackles Over 5-Hour Energy Drink

12:55 PM, Dec 13, 2012

The FDA is raising hackles over the equivalent of an espresso shot in a bottle: the popular 5-Hour Energy drink that has billions of dollars in sales over the past decade.

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FDA Approves Over-the-Counter HIV Testing

12:19 PM, Jul 03, 2012

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, the first over-the-counter, self-administered HIV test kit to detect the presence of antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and type 2 (HIV-2). HIV is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)," a press release from the FDA states.

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More on Inhaler Bans

Why is the EPA deciding what medicine you use?
11:26 AM, Sep 26, 2011

Last Friday, I noted that the Obama administration FDA was set to carry out a ban on asthma inhalers over environmental concerns because the propellant in them contains greenhouse gases.

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Time to Stockpile Lucky Charms?

The Obama administration targets food marketed to children.
Aug 08, 2011

The Obama administration is after your Lucky Charms, or at least your children’s. The public comment period closed on July 14 for a set of “voluntary” guidelines for the marketing of food to children. If adopted, these rules will transform the advertising of breakfast cereals.

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About the FDA's New Calorie Count Regulations . . .

A recipe for indifference.
11:50 AM, Apr 06, 2011

What if you passed a regulation, and nobody cared? Obesity is quickly emerging as a major policy issue, with related health costs consuming 10 cents on every health dollar – and rising. Policymakers, then, are eager for ideas. Top of the list: regulations to force chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus.

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