COBLE SPEAKS OUT AGAINST FDA REGULATION OF TOBACCO
Jul 30, 2008 -
U.S. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) spoke on the House floor moments ago opposing legislation that would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory control over tobacco. Congressman Coble said he will vote against H.R. 1108, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, when it comes up for a vote in the House later this evening. Below is Rep. Coble’s statement on the House floor during debate on the bill:
“During my tenure in Congress I have consistently opposed granting the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco. I do so based upon my philosophical beliefs and the ramifications this legislation would have upon my congressional district and state.
“As I have stated on many occasions, I believe allowing FDA to regulate tobacco in any capacity would inevitably lead to FDA regulating the family farm.
“Permitting FDA on the farm creates uncertainty and adds another burden to the already overwhelmed FDA. Let’s be honest, should the FDA spend its time regulating tobacco on the farm and in manufacturing facilities, despite the warning on cigarettes which alerts users to their danger, or should it focus on the core mission of ensuring the safety and soundness of our food, drugs, and cosmetics.
“I also have concerns with the impact this legislation would have upon tobacco manufacturers and their employees. These companies employ many hard-working North Carolinians, and I believe FDA regulation of tobacco could negatively affect these manufacturing jobs.
“Finally, taxing tobacco companies to fund additional regulation and avoid pay-go problems is ill conceived and will create an incentive for black market activity such as counterfeiting and smuggling.
“Madam Speaker, this legislation is misguided, and in my opinion will not achieve the goals identified by proponents. Instead, I believe it will further exacerbate an already stretched FDA, negatively impact manufacturers and farmers, and create a strain on federal revenues to the Treasury. I adamantly oppose this measure and urge my colleagues to do the same.
“Madam Speaker, tobacco is a product that is lawfully grown, lawfully marketed, lawfully manufactured, and lawfully consumed. We don’t need the FDA inserting its oars into these waters.”