05.12.09

ENZI SUPPORTS HAMBURG NOMINATION SAYS FDA MUST STAY FOCUSED ON PUBLIC HEALTH MISSION

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the SenateHealth, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today applauded HELP Committeeapproval of Dr. Margaret Hamburg’s nomination to be Commissioner of Food and Drugs.“Given Dr. Hamburg’s expertise in emergency preparedness and public health, it isimportant that the Senate act on this nomination quickly,” Enzi said. “I support Dr. Hamburg’snomination, and urge my colleagues to do the same.”

Enzi said that if Dr. Hamburg is confirmed, she will face unprecedented challenges topublic health, from medical product development and biopreparedness to import safety, andadded that Congress, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Administration willneed to work cooperatively to meet those challenges.

Enzi expressed concern about a bill to require FDA to regulate tobacco, which the HELPCommittee plans to mark up next week.

“FDA approves cures, not poisons. Putting an implied FDA seal of approval on a deadlyproduct would send the wrong public health message. FDA resources are already stretched too thin – I have serious concerns about adding tobacco to the list of products the agency must regulate.”

He urged Congress to keep the agency focused on its core mission, regulating medicalproducts designed to restore health and keeping the nation’s food supply safe.

“I want to thank Dr. Hamburg for her previous public service and her willingness toserve again,” Enzi said. “I look forward to working with her, if she is confirmed, to protect andpromote the public health, and to restore FDA’s status as the gold standard for regulatoryagencies.”

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