Last Week In Regulation: Senate Committee Approves TSCA Reform Bill
TSCA Reform Takes Shape. On April 28th, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved a bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The vote was 15-5, with support from the Committee Republicans along with Democrats Udall (D-NM), Carper (D-DE), Merkley (D-OR), Whitehouse (D-RI), and Booker (D-NJ). The bill would require EPA to evaluate existing chemicals against a health-based safety standard and take regulatory action as necessary. Last month, the House of Representatives has held one hearing on a more narrowly focused reform bill that lessens EPA’s role and leverages market forces to a greater extent. The primary aim of the reform effort is to ensure that tens of thousands of chemicals in commerce at the time TSCA was enacted in 1976 do not pose an unacceptable risk.
Health Groups Urge President To Finalize e-Cigarette Regulation. In an April 28th letter, the heads of 31 medical and health groups urged President Obama to finalize its proposed regulations on e-cigarettes, cigars, and water-pipe tobacco. The letter cites a recent CDC report showing a tripling of e-cigarette use among children from 2013 to 2014. In a statement, FDA says it is still working on the regulation, which has received 135,000 public comments so far. Regulating these products is tricky for FDA. Although research establishing adverse health effects from e-cigarettes is not firmly established, public health concerns abound. In addition, many experts acknowledge the product is safer than traditional cigarettes and offers a viable option to smokers who wish to quit.
Committee Holds Hearing on Bill To Speed Up Approval of New Medical Treatments. On April 30th, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on its revised draft bill that aims to speed the process of medical treatment from discovery to development to delivery. Developed by Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), the draft legislation has been developed after more than a year of committee hearings and deliberation.