Articles worth reading

Metro News

FDA hires people to draft vaping regulations using anti-tobacco money

account_balanceMetro News account_circleJames Lopes chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

In a stunning admission before a House committee, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed it applyied for and received grant money from a U.S. non-government organization espousing a ban on vapes and heated tobacco products to hire employees to draft specific regulations on these products.

Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing, a co-author of a resolution that prompted the House investigation, said the admission raises serious concerns over the FDA’s independence and credibility.

“How come that you ask donations and grants from an international source that are against tobacco? It’s a conflict. Why not from other international sources? Why from The Union?”, she asked the FDA.

Advertisement

The House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability Tuesday conducted its first hearing in aid of legislation to investigate the “questionable receipt of private funding by the FDA and other government agencies and institutions in exchange for specific and pre-defined policies directed against a legitimate industry and in complete disregard of the rights and welfare of consumers.”

“We hope that through this investigation, we can better protect our independence and sovereignty so that we do not become an easy target for foreign private entities that wish to interfere with national policy,” said Deputy Speaker Deogracias Victor Savellano, another co-author of the resolution.

During the hearing, FDA Director General Rolando Enrique Domingo admitted that the agency applied for a grant from The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases or The Union. He said, “The Union co-manages the Bloomberg Initiative, and it’s major objectives” include supporting “public sector efforts to implement effective policies.”

“The Bloomberg Initiative (BI) grants program is an important component of the Bloomberg initiative to reduce tobacco use,” Domingo said.

Rep. Suansing inquired about the details of the FDA funding and the purpose of soliciting a grant from The Union while the FDA has its own funds, citing conflict of interest.

In the FDA’s presentation, it was disclosed that a significant part of the USD150,000 grant from The Union was used to hire a team of “job order” employees who are responsible for developing regulatory guidelines for ENDS.

“Of course, it is given that whatever will come out in the research, whatever will be the guidelines (on e-cigarettes and HTPs) that you will come up out of the donations of that international source, you will be influenced,” Rep. Suansing said.

“This is what’s happening now. You were funded by Bloomberg, The Union and the stand of the Union is against tobacco,” She added.

Domingo, however, maintained that the FDA is judicious, fair and objective when they were drafting the regulations for vapes and HTPs and that they are listening to all stakeholders including the tobacco industry, which they are regulating.

It can be recalled that On October 6 and 8, 2020, the FDA conducted public consultations on the draft guidelines for the regulation of vapor products and HTPs. During the hearing on HTPs, an FDA official initially refused to answer Rep. Suansing’s question on the agency’s receipt of private funding intended for policy development from foreign private groups. A ranking official, however, eventually admitted to receiving such grant after Rep. Suansing presented actual donor declarations from Bloomberg’s official website

This prompted Rep. Savellano and Rep Suansing to file a resolution to investigate the “questionable” receipt of such grant.

On January 4 2020, the FDA posted on its website the Administrative Order No. 2020-0055 dated 1 December 2020, which provided the FDA’s regulatory framework for vapes and HTPs despite the unconcluded public consultations on the draft guidelines.


date_rangeDate Published
1 month ago
shareShare article
folder_openArticle tags
content_copyCategorized under

Share your thoughts with us

Related Articles

DHSUD pushes for climate-resilient homes 

account_balanceMetro Manila chrome_reader_mode4 days ago

The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) is pushing for a housing microfinance strategy that will grant low-income families access to climate-resilient homes at affordable costs, according to a report by Philippine News Agenc...

PBA pushes vaccination of players

account_balanceMetro Manila chrome_reader_mode1 day ago

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is looking to vaccinate everyone from the players and coaches to the league employees before looking to begin its 46th season, according to a report by Philippine News Agency. PBA board vice chairman Bobby...

Mandaluyong allows community pantries 

account_balanceManila chrome_reader_mode11 hours ago

Mandaluyong City Mayor Menchie Abalos said no permit is required in opening a community pantry in the city, according to a report by Manila Bulletin. The mayor made the announcement as she lauded the efforts of the individuals who have set up c...

The struggles in 2020 of the casino industry in the Philippines

account_balanceMetro Manila chrome_reader_mode7 months ago

Do you want to learn more about the challenges and predictions for the gambling industry in the Philippines? Find all answers in this article!

Let's Stay Connected Like us on our Facebook page.
×
Click on the article to continue reading
Quezon City adopts no contact apprehension system Red Cross pushes saliva test Vaccines from COVAX to arrive in Q1 Makati Shangri-La to close doors on Feb. 1 Cities in NCR to start vaccination simultaneously Mother, girlfriend of Filipino infected with UK variant also test positive Send Press Release MNC Facebook Page MNC Twitter Page MNC Instagram Page LGU Spotlight Barangay Front Business Sports Entertainment Metro Gen Metro Feature