Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) devoted about four minutes of his one hour speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate Tuesday to my commentary on the absurdity of the FDA tobacco legislation, its numerous loopholes that protect tobacco profits at the expense of the public's health, and its basis in politics rather than science. He quoted extensively from my Los Angeles Times op-ed piece from June 3.
Senator Burr's remarks can be found here. The section of his speech which addresses my analysis and commentary on the legislation runs from approximately the 45:35 mark to the 49:53 mark, or from 3:22 pm to 3:26 pm.
The Rest of the Story
Senator Burr is one of the few U.S. Senators who understands the true nature and ramifications of this legislation. He is one of the few who has been able to look beyond the propaganda that the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and health groups have spewed about this bill and to decipher the real meaning and real implications of this legislation for not only the protection of the public's health, but for the integrity of the federal public health regulatory system.
Senator Burr presented the mission of the FDA on a poster and argued that the bill would completely undermine this mission. The FDA, if this bill passes, will be put in the business of approving for sale and consumption in the United States a product that is inherently harmful. This is completely contradictory to its mission, which is to ensure that the food and drugs on the market are safe for consumption by the public. This point alone, Burr argues, should be enough to get the Senate to re-think its support for the bill. While he is aware that it won't be enough, he argues that it will be enough to get the public to appreciate how absurd and destructive the bill is.
More to Follow
Today, my commentary on the FDA tobacco legislation (which will likely be passed by the Senate today) is scheduled to be featured on the following shows:
The Diane Rehm Show on NPR (radio): Between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. EST.
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (TV): Between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. EST. -- RESCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY
CBS Evening News with Katie Couric (TV): Between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. EST. -- RESCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY
I will put up links to the relevant stories from these broadcasts once they are available.
UPDATE (June 10, 3:30 pm): It appears that the Senate vote will not occur until tomorrow. Thus, the NewsHour and CBS Evening News segments have been moved to tomorrow evening.
The Diane Rehm Show audio can be found here.