The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a notification on the Federal Registrar yesterday of a planned FDA hearing or workshop scheduled for April 19 and 20 on the topic of e-cig explosions. Leaders in both the vaping industry and Big Tobacco are expected to be in attendance to contribute recommendations and ideas to address related safety concerns, and apparently, anyone can attend as long as they register by March 17, 2017.
The meeting will take place in Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. It will be interesting to see which pro-vaping advocacy groups and merchants will sign up for the 2-day workshop. And perhaps even more intriguing, how well will the public hearing be organized? After all, the FDA is in a current state of turmoil as the Obama Administration comes to an end and President-Elect Donald Trump prepares to take office.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden resigns
The announcement comes just days after long-time CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, a man who has been largely reviled by the vaping industry since the unveiling of the FDA deeming regulations in mid-2016, announced his pending resignation immediately after Donald Trump takes the oath of office. The President-Elect has also tapped a rather interesting person to replace Frieden at the FDA - Jim O’Neill from Mithril Capital owned by PayPal founder and NJOY investor Peter Thiel.
(Related Article: WHY IS CDC DIRECTOR THOMAS FRIEDEN LYING ABOUT VAPING?)
While the anointing of O’Neill as the new Director sounds rather appealing to e-cig retailers and enthusiasts due to his longtime association with a leader in the vaping industry, O’Neill hasn’t yet officially been given the job nor has he taken office. Inauguration Day is January 20, and the FDA hearing is scheduled only three, short months later. Who scheduled this meeting if Frieden is “out” and O’Neill isn’t yet “in?”
Meanwhile, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, who has only been in his current position for about a year, has not yet heard from the Trump Transition Team as to whether he will be maintaining his current role within the FDA or not. However, most political insiders predict that Califf will not be returning either. And Trump’s silence on this matter clouds the issue of the April FDA hearing even further.
To sign up for the FDA public workshop being held in Silver Spring Maryland, members of the vaping community are encouraged to attend by referring to http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/WorkingatFDA/BuildingsandFacilities/WhiteOakCampusInformation/ucm241740.htm.
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