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Jessica Smagacz
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FDA may Regulate Tobacco

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NewsInferno reported this past Thursday that the FDA may be given the power to oversee the tobacco industry. This legislation is still in the proposal stage, in a 39 to 13 House vote that now requires Senate approval before it is presented to President Barack Obama.

If the legislation passes, FDA will be able to regulate tobacco products (cigarettes, advertisements, and product designs).

Is this too much for FDA right now? They already oversee human and animal medicines, medical devices, cosmetics, and many foods.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Democratic Representative Henry Waxman said, “Regulating tobacco is the single most important thing we can do right now to curb the deadly toll of tobacco.”

“The legislation states that the bill’s oversight would save $75 billion in healthcare costs by reducing teen smoking.”

From the other side of the debate, people feel this adds new responsibilities to the FDA and more room for error. FDA “cannot seem to handle the industries it is currently charged with: like the peanut butter salmonella outbreak and last year’s heparin contamination.

Texas Republican Representative Joe Barton said, “The FDA is the wrong agency at the wrong time to give this type of responsibility.”

What do you think? Can FDA handle this responsibility?