From The Guardian:
Tobacco companies have moved swiftly to strengthen their grip on Washington politics, ramping up lobbying efforts and securing significant regulatory wins in the first six months of the Trump era.
Day one of Donald Trump’s presidency started with tobacco donations, senior figures have been put in place within the Trump administration who have deep ties to tobacco, and lobbying activity has increased significantly.
From THINK PROGRESS:
Last year, a bi-partisan majority in Congress approved a new food safety law, the first significant upgrade of the nation’s food safety system since 1938. The bill was so non-controversial that it was approved by unanimous consent in the Senate. But House Republicans have been threatening to defund the new law through the appropriations process.
Following through on that threat, House Republicans approved a bill yesterday that would cut $87 million from the Food and Drug Administration, as well as $35 million from the USDA’s food safety and inspection service. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) explained that the House GOP is okay cutting food safety funding because the food industry “self-polices”[…]
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From The Washington Post:
The Iowa egg producer that federal officials say is at the center of a salmonella outbreak and recalls of more than a half-billion eggs has repeatedly paid fines and settled complaints over health and safety violations and allegations ranging from maintaining a “sexually hostile work environment” to abusing the hens that lay the eggs.
In the past 20 years, according to the public record, the DeCoster family operation, one of the 10 largest egg producers in the country, has withstood a string of reprimands, penalties and complaints about its performance in several states.
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From Courthouse News Service:
A federal judge sentenced convicted Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff to 150 years in prison for orchestrating the largest and most sweeping Ponzi scheme in history. Scattered applause broke out in the crowded courtroom after the judge issued the maximum sentence to the disgraced 71-year-old.
U.S. District Judge Denny Chin rejected a request by Madoff’s lawyer for leniency and said he disagreed that victims of the scheme were seeking “mob vengeance.”
Chin called Madoff’s crimes “extraordinarily evil,” and said it “was not merely a bloodless crime that takes place on paper but one that takes a staggering human toll.” He said the maximum sentence was important for deterrence.
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WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday said it will allow a reformulated version of a Wyeth (WYE) heartworm drug for dogs back into the U.S., sparking a powerful U.S. senator to question the agency’s decision.
Wyeth unit Fort Dodge Animal Health pulled the drug from the market in 2004 amid reports that 500 dogs died while taking it. The FDA’s handling of the situation sparked congressional inquiry after an FDA safety officer said the agency tried to silence her when she raised concerns about the drug.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, fired off a letter to FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach on Thursday expressing concerns about how the agency came to its decision to allow the drug, called ProHeart 6, back in the U.S.
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