February 15th, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) urged the recusal of four members of an FDA panel deciding whether to ban menthol flavored tobacco products for "blatant conflicts of interest" in comments submitted today to the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC).
ALG President Bill Wilson clearly defined the issue stating, "The integrity of the process is the issue, and the American people need to be assured that those making regulatory decisions and recommendations are not doing so to line their own pockets or those of their current or former clients."
Wilson states in the submission that, "at least four members of TPSAC have conflicts of interest by virtue of receiving payments from special interests with billions of dollars riding on the outcome of the committee's analysis."
ALG communicated the conflict of interest issues in a July 13, 2010 letter to Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which stated, "These irreconcilable biases jeopardize the neutrality that examination of this issue demands and requires. It also threatens to erode Americans' confidence in government. It creates an anti-government sentiment that leads the public to question decisions, a dynamic that certainly is not healthy for our democracy….We can envision no greater conflict. We urgently request that you revisit these disqualifying conflicts of interest."
"As we have made clear from the outset, the conflict of interest within the panel is the problem, and the failure of the Obama appointed FDA Administrator to take her responsibility to provide conflict of interest free decision making is just further evidence of the political agenda, rather than fact, driven power grab that this panel represents."
Americans for Limited Government is a non-profit corporation dedicated to free market principles and rolling back the massive overreach of government that threatens individual freedom.
ALG Letter to Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, February 15th, 2011 at http://www.getliberty.org/files/TPSAC-21511.pdf .
ALG Letter to FDA, July 13th, 2010 at www.getliberty.org/files/ALGLettertoFDA.pdf .