Monday, June 22, 2009

FDA Recalls Prepackaged Nestle Toll House Cookies and Several Brands of Electronic Cigarettes; Takes No Action on Existing Conventional Cigarettes

Here are two recent press releases from the FDA: one real and one hypothetical, but unfortunately, not too far from the truth.


For Immediate Release: June 19, 2009

Media Inquiries: Michael Herndon, 301-796-4673,

Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

FDA Warns Consumers Not to Eat Nestle Toll House Prepackaged, Refrigerated Cookie Dough

Nestle Voluntarily Recalls all Varieties of Prepackaged, Refrigerated Toll House Cookie Dough

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning consumers not to eat any varieties of prepackaged Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough due to the risk of contamination with E. coli O157:H7 (a bacterium that causes food borne illness).

The FDA advises that if consumers have any prepackaged, refrigerated Nestle Toll House cookie dough products in their home that they throw them away. Cooking the dough is not recommended because consumers might get the bacteria on their hands and on other cooking surfaces.


For Immediate Release: June 19, 2009

Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

FDA Assures Consumers It's OK to Smoke Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, and Lorillard Cigarettes But Not Ruyan's or Other Companies' Electronic Cigarettes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is assuring consumers today that there is no cause for alarm over any varieties of prepackaged cigarettes manufactured by the largest tobacco companies, despite the confirmation that these products contain more than 10,000 chemicals, including at least 60 known carcinogens and that they are causing more than 400,000 deaths each year in the United States alone.

The FDA is not taking any of the actions that it usually takes against food and drugs when they have been confirmed to cause death, including any of the following:

1. The FDA is not recalling the product.
2. The FDA is not pulling the product off the market.
3. The FDA is not restricting the places where the product can be sold.
4. The FDA is not requiring the removal of the toxic chemicals and carcinogens from the product.

The FDA advises that if consumers have any prepackaged, Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds or Lorillard products in their home that they not throw them away. The FDA is prepared to take action if there is any adulteration or unexpected contamination that makes cigarettes unacceptably dangerous. But at the current level of danger, there is no need to take further action.

The FDA is also working hard to ensure that new tobacco products introduced into the market have been proven to be safe. But the FDA says there is no need to apply those high standards to the current products which are killing hundreds of thousands of smokers each year. "We don't care if smokers are dying from current products," stated an FDA spokesperson who declined to be named. "We just don't want them dying from new products."

At the same time that the FDA is failing to take action against conventional cigarettes with their more than 10,000 chemicals and 60 carcinogens plus nicotine, the FDA has pulled from the market several varieties of electronic cigarettes which deliver just nicotine without the other 10,000 chemicals and 60 carcinogens.

According to an FDA spokesperson: "We are acting with an abundance of caution. We have no idea what the health effects of inhaling just nicotine is in the absence of the 10,000 other chemicals and the carcinogens. With conventional cigarettes, at least we know what's going to happen. At least 400,000 people will die. We feel comfortable because we know the consequences. But with electronic cigarettes, we have literally no idea."

Health groups applauded the FDA's decision to issue a warning about electronic cigarettes and take that product off the market while keeping conventional cigarettes on the market with no further restriction on the age of sale, places where they can be purchased, or required removal of the toxic chemicals. The Campaign for Flavor-Free But Menthol-Full Kids stated: "At least with conventional cigarettes, we know what we're dealing with. We know we're going to have upwards of 400,000 deaths. But with electronic cigarettes, there is no absolute proof that they are safer. There is no assurance that removing the more than 10,000 chemicals and 60 carcinogens from tobacco smoke and just leaving the nicotine is going to lead to any improvement in health of the users of these products. We advise smokers not to switch to electronic cigarettes until there is clear proof, through long-term studies, that these products are safer. Please, stick with the conventional cigarettes. We can't tolerate the even slight chance of harm from this new product. We have to act from an abundance of caution."

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