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8 Questions for Scott Gottlieb, Trump’s FDA Nominee
On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will hold a confirmation hearing for Scott Gottlieb, a doctor who is President Trump’s nominee to run the Food and Drug Administration. Here are eight questions committee members should ask Gottlieb:
- Will he make food safety a priority? Contaminated food kills 3,000 Americans every year. Will Gottlieb fully implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, including a rule requiring farmers to test irrigation water? And will he help fight to get the funds needed to regularly inspect food manufacturing facilities?
- Will he finally subject food chemicals to review? Thousands of chemicals are added to food without adequate FDA review. Will Gottlieb subject food chemicals to meaningful FDA review, as the law requires? How will he stop industry from using secret industry “science” to approve food chemicals?
- Does he think chlorpyrifos is safe? Last week, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt ignored overwhelming evidence linking this pesticide to neurological problems and scrapped a proposed ban. Does Gottlieb believe this pesticide should still be sprayed on our food? How will he address imported produce with high levels of chlorpyrifos residue?
- Does he support FDA review of cosmetics chemicals? Cosmetics and other personal care products include thousands of chemicals – including some linked to cancer – that are not subject to any FDA review. Will he support bipartisan efforts to subject the most dangerous cosmetics chemicals to FDA oversight?
- How will he reduce the use of medically important antibiotics? Recent FDA rules and guidance documents have done little to reduce the routine use of antibiotics in animal production. What steps will he take to preserve the effectiveness of these life-saving drugs?
- How will he make sunscreen chemicals safer? Safer, more effective sunscreen chemicals have been approved for use by other nations but still can’t be used in American products. Will he provide the resources needed for the FDA to quickly review and, if warranted, allow these new formulations on the market?
- Will he demand clearer food labels? Food labels are riddled with misleading claims like “natural” and “healthy.” Will Gottlieb increase FDA enforcement efforts to stop these deceptive claims? Will the FDA enforce deadlines to update the Nutrition Facts Panel and new menu labeling requirements?
- Will he support GMO transparency? A new GMO disclosure law will go into effect next year, requiring food companies to disclose GMO ingredients. Will Gottlieb support efforts to require the disclosure of all GMO ingredients, including GMO sugars and oils?