In a surprising a move, Altria a strong proponent of the new tobacco control act , petitioned HHS to remove some panel members from the advisory committtee.
” .. the Appointees…have biases arising from their active and zealous participation as paid expert witnesses for plaintiffs in law suits against tobacco product maufacturers…”
” A stated opinon on a scientific matter does not necessarily mean that a member would have a closed mind on a particular issue..”
Several accomplished members of the national press disagree with HHS, please see Press Comments .
Altria and HHS comments appended hereto.
The public is encouraged to express its views by posting on the comments section below.
N. B. FDA has just made a secret request to OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act.
Yet one of the company’s critics at the meeting questioned why Altria, in March, sought to remove four of the 12 members of a scientific advisory board that is studying issues such as the health effects of menthol cigarettes.
“It seems there is a contradiction, when the company is trying to get rid of people who are concerned about public health and advising the FDA,” said Rev. Michael Crosby, a priest and tobacco-control activist from Milwaukee.
In its request to the FDA, Altria argued that the four panel members had conflicts of interest, including having served as paid experts for plaintiffs in lawsuits against tobacco companies. The FDA denied the company’s request to remove them from the board.
“We are participating” in the FDA’s regulatory process, Szymanczyk told about 130 shareholders who attended the meeting at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. “And part of participating involves representing shareholder interests.”
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