Obama Administration should deny tobacco's request to extend public comment period on FDA deeming rule

Philip Morris and the Cigar Association of America have both requested that the FDA extend the current 75 day comment period on the deeming rule for another 75 days (which would make it nearly 6 months long).
The 75 day comment period is already 50% longer than the minumum 50 days required by law.
Despite the generally tepid nature of the draft rule (exemplified by the fact that all the investment analysts are saying, correctly, that the proposed rule is even weaker and more pro-industry than expected), the tobacco interests are saying that they don't have enough time to respond.
That's ridiculous.  All they want is delay so they can keep selling their addictive products and work to get an even more sympathetic Congress.
The next test of whether the Administration is prioritizing health or tobacco will be whether they approve this request for an extension.  I'm hoping the While House will tell FDA to say "no," but based on their record on menthol and the deeming rule itself, I am not holding my breath.
(For what it is worth, TFK is trying to keep the pressure on.)



On May 9, 2014, the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, American Heart Association, Legacy, and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids /sites/g/files/tkssra4661/f/u9/Letter%20to%20FDA%20opposing%20deeming%20comments%20extension%205.9.14.pdf" target="_blank";wrote the FDA calling on it to deny Philip Morris/Altria's and the American Cigar Association's request to extend the public comment period on the deeming rule for another 75 days.
My favorite part of their letter was this:
Although the deeming rule does present a large number of questions for resolution, stakeholders have had three years since FDA first announced its intention to promulgate such a proposed rule in which to formulate their positions. None of the subjects covered in the proposed rule comes as a surprise. Moreover, industry representatives spent months presenting detailed arguments with regard to these subjects in meetings with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, all of which are publicly documented. The idea that the industry, with all its resources, is somehow unable to formulate its position on these issues within the time period established in the proposed regulation is ludicrous.
A copy of the full letter is/sites/g/files/tkssra4661/f/u9/Letter%20to%20FDA%20opposing%20deeming%20comments%20extension%205.9.14.pdf" target="_blank"; here.

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