Silver Spring, MD—Stephen Hahn, M.D., was confirmed Thursday as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, according to The Washington Post. The Senate vote was 72 to 18. He faces the vaping crisis and the problem of CBD, still unregulated and largely illegal.
Dr. Hahn was the Chief Medical Executive at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston; before that, he was Chairman of the Radiation Oncology Department at the University of Pennsylvania medical school for nine years.
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Steve Mister, President and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), said in a statement: “CRN recognizes the importance of having a confirmed FDA commissioner because the agency can drift during interim periods and important decisions are postponed. Dr. Hahn’s leadership will be critical to moving FDA forward, and CRN expects to maintain an open dialogue with him and his staff on the full range of issues CRN is working for its members. CRN looks forward to working with Commissioner Hahn on top industry priorities including CBD, mandatory product listing, third-party GMPs, certificates of free sale, and other issues.”
Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Natural Products Association (NPA), told WholeFoods: “We hope FDA will look closely and follow the NPA-sponsored and House-passed legislative approach to CBD regulation pending in the Agriculture Appropriations conference committee, as it is the best pathway to protecting consumers and ensuring that there are science-based rules on this promising ingredient/product.”
Karen Howard, CEO and Executive Director of Organic & Natural Health Association, commented: “The U.S. Senate has exercised its authority to approve a man with considerable medical experience and no government expertise as the the next Commissioner of the FDA. Oddly, in this highly antagonistic era of governing, he garnered bipartisan support with only 18 dissenting votes. Had he taken a firm stand on teenage vaping, he might have flown through unanimously. This is a man who clearly seeks to avoid the spotlight and controversy. In some ways Congress is hungry to do the work they were elected to perform. That said, it’s business as usual at the FDA. Ergo, it is business as usual for the dietary supplement industry.”
This story will be updated as members of the Industry continue to share their thoughts.