Wednesday, April 22, 2009

To Quote George Carlin...

Recently the FDA and EPA have both come out with positions that would first, cause George Carlin to spin over in his grave and second, would have him sitting up and saying, “thank you Captain obvious”.

First the EPA issued a proposed finding on April 17 that greenhouse gases contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare. Apparently the U. S. Supreme Court told them to do that 2 years ago. Now, there’s a whole lot of stuff behind this I’m sure and now there is a public comment period until EPA can make it official.

Wow, I’m glad that this isn’t anything serious and I’m glad that the EPA has cleared this up. I would never have suspected that greenhouse gases either contribute to air pollution or endanger public health without this finding. When the last of us are gasping and sitting on our oceanfront property in Kansas we’ll be able to point to this finding and say, “See, I told you so.”

The other remarkable item deals with the FDA which will apparently now have the ability to “regulate” cigarettes. It won’t be able to outlaw tobacco or nicotine but it can regulate it in cigarettes. One of the other things I loved was discussions on “e-cigarettes” which release a nicotine vapor up a tube to more thoroughly simulate smoking but without the smoke. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey wants e-cigarettes taken off the market however, “until they are proven safe”. Say what? If he wants to do that to e-cigarettes how about taking regular cigarettes off the market until they’re proven safe? Naw, wouldn’t want to do that would we?

Anyway, this one is just a bunch of hooey. Remember when Dr. David Kessler was Commissioner of the FDA during the Bush the Elder and Clinton administrations? Naw, you probably don’t. He got in trouble for suggesting that cigarettes be designated a “drug delivery device” and as such be regulated by the FDA. Big trouble. But he was absolutely, dead solid right. So, now we get this watered down stuff that says the FDA can regulate some of the content of cigarettes.

Geesh, when is the government going to let itself realize (in spite of the tobacco industry’s posturing, lobbying and spending) that these things are killers. The only thing they are made for is to get people addicted to nicotine. Nicotine in and of itself is relatively harmless but it’s the way the nicotine gets into the system that is the killer.

When people were giving themselves HIV and Hepatitis B from sharing needles, many groups and governmental bodies supported and provided sources of clean needles. Is there a parallel there? I think so.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I smoke like a chimney on a cold night. Yeah, I’m addicted and I’ve yet to permanently quit. It would be nice for the government to do the right thing once in a while. Kessler was right.

But isn’t it nice to know that the EPA and FDA are looking out for our best interests!

Thank you Captain Obvious.

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