Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: FDA


I-522: Don’t be misled by scare tactics on food

Despite the fact that hundreds of studies have proven genetically modified foods to be perfectly safe, the promoters of Initiative 522 are trying to make Washington the first – and only – state in the country to mandate costly labeling regulations on these foods.

GM foods are the most rigorously tested foods on the planet. They’re also incredibly common; up to 80 percent of foods and beverages sold in grocery stores have been genetically modified. The American Medical Association has stated publicly that there is “no scientific justification for special labeling” of GM foods. In addition, the Food and Drug

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HEALTH: Let real science be your sunscreen guide

Re: “Keep rays at bay: For more natural approach to sun protection, these options come out on top” (thenewstribune.com, 6-12).

The article relies on seemingly sound science to raise questions about the safety of sunscreens.

The National Institutes of Health identifies solar UV radiation as a “known human carcinogen.” A single bad burn as a child can increase the skin’s susceptibility to skin cancer throughout life.

What does the real science say? Sunscreens are safe and effective. The article questioned the safety of a key sunscreen ingredient – oxybenzone – and an important skin-conditioning compound – retinyl palmitate (or

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FOOD: Industry, regulators should ensure meat safety

Re: “Study: Chicken, ground beef are riskiest meats” (thenewstribune.com, 4-23).

The Associated Press piece on “riskiest meats” brings up vital issues surrounding food production in the U.S., but overemphasizes “defensive eating.” This approach unfairly obligates consumers to personally ensure the safety of products that have already passed industry and government standards.

Individuals should always take precautions when handling raw meat, however, they should be able to have confidence in animal products approved and regulated by the FDA and USDA.

With the Centers for Disease Control estimating that one in six Americans contracts a foodborne illness annually, it’s imprudent to

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CONSUMERS: Don’t use anti-bacterial products with Triclosan

Once again, popular consumer products infused with agents touted to be safe and effective for years against one thing or another have been proven otherwise. I am referring to the many anti-bacterial soaps, body washes and more that contain the chemical, Triclosan.

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published information on the chemical, stating that it found no evidence that Triclosan added to these products provides any benefit over washing with plain soap and water.

Animal studies have found that Triclosan alters hormone regulation. Canada has declared the chemical to be an environmental toxin and is taking steps to

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SMOKING: Unlikely allies can work together

Re: “New law part of the fight to keep kids away from cigarettes” (Viewpoint, 8-13).

Altria’s tobacco companies agree with state Health Secretary Mary Selecky’s belief that the Food and Drug Administration can play an important role in preventing underage tobacco use. However, her comments didn’t account for our tobacco companies’ support of various efforts to keep kids from using tobacco.

Altria’s tobacco companies, which include Philip Morris USA, joined public health groups to support the law giving the FDA regulatory authority over tobacco products. This law includes a number of provisions to address underage use of tobacco products, including

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