FDA faces criticism over lack of action on youth vaping epidemic

During a congressional hearing on e-cigarettes, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Janet Woodcock was grilled on the agency’s plans to deal with the public health crisis.

Stat: Key Democrats criticize FDA for failing to crack down on Juul

Congressional Democrats openly pressured Acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Janet Woodcock to crack down on e-cigarette makers on Wednesday, with a powerful lawmaker lambasting the agency for what they say is a inaction on the matter. “Who is the cop on the beat that we entrust our children with?” It’s the Food and Drug Administration. And this agency has been shy and reluctant for too long, ”said Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), The Senate’s second-most powerful Democrat, who testified before the House hearing as a witness. “I’m afraid the agency will go bankrupt again.” (Florko, 23/6)

Bloomberg: FDA chief links e-cigarette maker to youth vaping epidemic

The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggested during a congressional hearing that e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. had played a significant role in creating a youth vaping epidemic. Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock was questioned Wednesday during a hearing by the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy whether Juul was “the e-cigarette company most responsible for the creation of this epidemic “. (Torrence, 6/23/23)

In other Capitol Hill news –

Fox News: HHS Should Restore Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Board, Letter Request From 37 Senators And 100 Representatives

Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker and two of his House Republican colleagues address a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra demanding that the Cabinet Secretary reconsider his decision to ban the National Institute of Health (NIH) ethics committee responsible for overseeing human fetal tissue research. Wicker, alongside representatives from Missouri Blaine Luetkemeyer and Vicky Hartzler, lead more than 100 other Republicans in a letter to Becerra expressing concern that the HHS secretary is cutting the tissue ethics advisory board NIH Human Fetals (EAB) as well as the rescinding of a ministry policy “prohibiting funding of intramural research using human fetal tissue.” (Keene, 6/23)

The Hill: Senate Democrats call for FDA action on high levels of heavy metals in certain baby foods

A group of Democratic senators led by Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) Is calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to step up efforts to eliminate toxic heavy metals that have been reported in certain baby foods. Klobuchar, along with Democrats Tammy Duckworth (Illinois), Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), Cory Booker (NJ) and Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Made the request in a letter to Acting FDA Commissioner Janet on Thursday. Woodcock. with La Colline. (Castronuovo, 24/6)

Politico: Senators say White House deal is pending on infrastructure

A group of bipartisan senators said Wednesday evening they had agreed with the White House on a framework for an infrastructure package and would brief President Joe Biden in person on Thursday on the details. “I am optimistic that we have had a breakthrough,” said Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) after the latest in a series of meetings with White House aides. (Mintz, 6/23)

Axios: Democrats on the border want migrants to be vaccinated

Some Democrats representing border districts want President Biden to vaccinate migrants entering the United States – especially if he lifts public health restrictions that have prevented them from seeking asylum on American soil. Migrant inoculation is a fine line in protecting the American population while potentially spurring more migration with the offer of free COVID-19 vaccines. Republicans are likely to pounce on this. (Nichols, 6/23)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of coverage of health policies by major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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