House sets probe on Bloomberg lobby

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Officials in government who are receiving grants to protect the interest of foreign private organizations will likely face a congressional probe.

Congress is considering an investigation on reports that high-level executives of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted foreign grants from anti-vaping foreign organizations and subsequently issued guidelines on the regulation of vapor products (e-cigarettes) and heated tobacco products (HTP).

“Monetary consideration could have motivated officials within the FDA to push for Bloomberg policies, giving a foreign private organization unwarranted advantage and influence over our national policies. This will definitely be investigated in Congress, and we call on not only the FDA but also other government agencies and institutions to cooperate with us, so we can rid our government of foreign non-government organization (NGO) agents,” Ako Bicol Partylist Representative Alfredo Garbin said in a statement.

Officials in government who are receiving grants to protect the interest of foreign private organizations will likely face a congressional probe.

Congress is considering an investigation on reports that high-level executives of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted foreign grants from anti-vaping foreign organizations and subsequently issued guidelines on the regulation of vapor products (e-cigarettes) and heated tobacco products (HTP).

“Monetary consideration could have motivated officials within the FDA to push for Bloomberg policies, giving a foreign private organization unwarranted advantage and influence over our national policies. This will definitely be investigated in Congress, and we call on not only the FDA but also other government agencies and institutions to cooperate with us, so we can rid our government of foreign non-government organization (NGO) agents,” Ako Bicol Partylist Representative Alfredo Garbin said in a statement.

FDA officials during a public consultation in October 2020 admitted that they received grants from the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) and Bloomberg Philanthropies, two organizations funded by US financial billionaire Michael Bloomberg who is known for his anti-vaping agenda.

Moneyed backer

Millions were alloted to The Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use Grants Program — a campaign that is dedicated to tobacco and vaping control policies which is co-managed by The Union.

The FDA conducted public consultations supposedly to get inputs from the public and stakeholders on the draft regulations for vapor products (e-cigarettes) and HTP.

The public hearing, however, was deferred after several stakeholders and government officials raised issues about the lack of meaningful discussion and FDA’s failure to address the concerns of consumers and industry players.

Original article from Daily Tribune: https://tribune.net.ph/index.php/2021/03/15/house-sets-probe-on-bloomberg-lobby

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