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Advocacy at a Glance

April 25, 2014

Advocacy at a Glance offers you the bullet point summary of current advocacy issues associated with the goals of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA.

  • Special Tuesday Luncheon Invitation: Energy & Commerce Professional Staff to Brief Alliance Members (April 29).  Our quarterly membership meeting is on Tuesday, April 29, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. We will have a special guest panel featuring House Energy & Commerce Committee staffers Clay Alspach,  Chief Health Counsel (Majority) and Dr. Eric Flamm, Professional Staff (Minority).
  • Frosh and Sophomore Hill Days, May 6 -7. The Alliance is planning a series of meetings with the staff of Freshman and Sophomore members of Congress on the following two days: May 6th and May 7th.   The purpose of the meetings is to provide staffers with consumer and patient groups and regulated industry perspectives on the critical importance of FDA.  Alliance Members and other interested parties are encouraged to participate in the meetings.  Please e-mail Tony Curry if you are interested in participating in these Hill Meetings.
  • Commissioner Hamburg’s Thoughts on Her 5-Year Tenure. At the FDLI annual meeting this week, Commissioner Hamburg delivered insightful thoughts on what she has tried to accomplish and the progress that FDA has made. Parts of her comments were devoted to one of the Alliance’s favorite talking points: a divided Congress has, nonetheless, repeatedly enacted bipartisan FDA legislation and that appropriators have recognized this growing mission in funding the agency. Of course, she also said the agency will need additional resources, a sentiment with which we fully agree.
  • FDA: No Intent to Harm Brewers and Distillers. Last week, in “FDA, As Seen By Congress,” we featured Congressional tweets complaining that proposed food safety regulations would restrict use of food processing by-products (e.g., “spent grains” used for alcoholic beverages) in animal feed. FDA has now clarified that was not their intent. Different, more appropriate policies will be in the next set of proposals that will be published for comment this summer.
  • FDA: The 1920s and Now. This week’s Analysis and Commentary looks at FDA in the 1920s, comparing it to the agency’s current mission and responsibilities. One point is that combating intentional fraud was once a major activity of the agency, but not so much anymore. But it isn’t completely gone, as illustrated by FDA’s most wanted fugitives.

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