Senator Mike Enzi, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), confirmed May 21 that cigarette maker Philip Morris co-authored the bill currently under consideration in Congress, for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate tobacco products. Enzi was rebuffed in efforts to amend the bill to move regulatory authority over tobacco to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), saying the CDC was more appropriate since the "FDA cures, not poisons." Enzi criticized the HELP Committee's rush to "sign a peace treaty with Philip Morris," instead of "fighting tobacco head on." He said, "My fierce opposition to smoking is a result of smoking killing my dad, and my mom, and my mother-in-law, and secondhand smoke conclusively affecting me." The FDA tobacco bill has been criticized by the American Association of Public Health Physicians (pdf) and FDA Commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, as tying the FDA's hands while misleading consumers and cementing Philip Morris' market share. Philip Morris began its "Regulatory Strategy Project" -- a long-term, behind-the-scenes project to enact "regulations" friendly to the company -- in 1999, after the Supreme Court struck down a government-initiated effort to regulate tobacco. Philip Morris' crafting the bill behind closed doors with the National Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids was also described by Roll Call, back in October 2004.
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