Federal regs expert: FDA conspiracy to kill vaping is intentional and ‘epidemic’
Michelle Minton is an expert in FDA regulatory issues and consumer policies surrounding tobacco harm reduction, legalized cannabis, alcohol, nutrition, and even gambling. She is a Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC, who has regularly appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN, and other mainstream media outlets. And she is publicly claiming that the FDA is essentially lying to the American people about vaping.
Under the direction of Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, FDA officials have been blasting the airwaves and social media with alarming allegations that teen vaping in America has reached “epidemic” proportions. The onslaught of negative news has been relentless, and the general public is taking notice. Survey after survey continue to show that the majority of Americans mistakenly believe that vaping is just as deadly as smoking even though e-cigs are 100 percent tobacco-free.
The real anti-vaping profiteers are not the likely suspects
Brent Stafford of Regulator Watch recently interviewed Ms. Minion where the issue of teen vaping was front and center. She talked about her initial surprise when the first stories claiming an 80 percent rise in teen vaping first started surfacing in the New York Times, CNN, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal.
“I started noticing all these media stories about Juul and adolescents, and I started wondering. Where is this coming from, because the research data wasn’t showing an epidemic? It was showing a very small percentage of teenagers experimenting with e-cigarettes, but it didn’t – in my mind – nowhere near rising to the level of the panic that I was seeing in newspapers, on blogs, etcetera.”
In her white paper entitled Fear Profiteers: How e-cigarette panic benefits health activists, she explains further. She believes that there is a secret conspiracy to kill the vaping industry, but its benefactors are not necessarily Big Pharma or Big Tobacco. Rather, the real profiteers who stand to gain the most are the “anti-smoking and health advocacy groups,” and the mainstream media is either knowingly or unknowingly complicit in the conspiracy.
“Yes. The misleading media response is the result of an orchestrated effort meant to create confusion and public panic over electronic cigarettes—part of a strategy to pressure governments to restrict or eliminate these alternatives to traditional cigarettes. As this paper will explore, the individuals and groups behind this fear campaign are those most likely to profit from it: anti-smoking and health advocacy groups.”
Much like politicians, health-focused non-profits rely heavily on wealthy financial donors to keep their doors open, and many of these donors have hidden agendas. These same non-profit organizations and health charities also often act as an extension of the federal government by being paid contractors for public health agencies.
Since government entities are legally prohibited from lobbying on their own behalf, they entice these non-profit contractors to do the lobbying for them through the rewarding of research grants and sponsored funding. These non-profits then gain worldwide recognition as they are continuously and publicly endorsed and promoted by the US government. Public health agencies like the FDA, for example, can then pass their political agendas more easily.
“The air of authority these health charities seek to cultivate is heightened by the fact that they often function as an extension of government, sometimes as paid contractors of public health agencies. Not only do these health advocacy organizations receive government endorsement, they also receive financial support. Government entities are prohibited from lobbying. Instead, they route funding to health advocacy non-profits, either as direct grants or through programs sponsored by local health agencies. In this way, health advocacy nonprofits work as subcontractors for government entities, legally executing their shared Health advocacy nonprofits work as subcontractors for government entities, legally executing their shared political agenda. Fear Profiteers political agenda. Often, a centerpiece of that agenda includes lobbying to protect or increase access to public funds.”
As a historic example, Michelle Minton discusses the public health crisis of the past few decades surrounding smoking. In the 1950’s smoking was considered fashionable. Cigarette commercials featuring actresses like Lucille Ball of the then-popular I Love Lucy series were commonplace. It wasn’t until the 1960s when a few anti-smoking advocates – most of them from the medical field - came onto the scene touting the dangers of smoking that things began to make a dramatic turn.
Suddenly, non-profit anti-smoking groups began sprouting up all over the place. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the Clinton Administration began adding excessive sin taxed to the Big Tobacco industry, which caused the price of cigarettes to soar almost overnight and paved the way for smoking-hating public that has become the norm.
The same thing seems to be happening to the vaping industry, according to Michelle Minton. It’s just happening at a much swifter pace.
(Image courtesy Fox News)