Late yesterday, the US Senate confirmed Lester Crawford, DVM, PhD, as FDA Commissioner by a vote of 78 to 16. Dr. Crawford had served as Acting Commissioner for all but 16 months since the Bush administration first appointed him to that role in February 2002.
“The confirmation of Dr. Crawford as FDA Commissioner should be seen as good news by responsible marketers of dietary supplements,” commented Michael McGuffin, AHPA’s president. “This industry continues to ask for full implementation and active enforcement of DSHEA and its implementing regulations, and we are more likely to see progress now. I have worked with Dr. Crawford over the past several years and look forward to working with him further.”
In a saga that started in February, Crawford’s nomination was first delayed by an anonymous allegation related to his relationship with a key staff member, and most recently by partisan squabbling over issues concerning birth control. Two Senate Democrats, Hillary Clinton (NY) and Patty Murray (WA), had placed holds on the nomination to demand that FDA agree to finalize its decision on OTC availability of the “Plan B” birth control pill, and one Republican, Tom Coburn (OK), had also blocked any decision over his concern that FDA is not properly enforcing required labeling on condoms. These holds were lifted within the last several days, only to have freshman Senator David Vitter (R-LA) initiate a new hold yesterday morning to try to force a vote on legislation that would allow expanded importation of cheaper drugs. When Vitter abandoned his gambit, the vote was finally scheduled.
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the national trade association and voice of the herbal supplement industry, the only trade association devoted solely to herbal issues. AHPA is the recognized leader in representing the responsible center of the botanical trade, and is comprised of the finest growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbal products. AHPA’s mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. AHPA committees generate self-regulations to ensure the highest level of responsibility with respect to the way herbs are manufactured, labeled and sold. Website: www.ahpa.org