The title of my piece has been lifted from an editorial written by Steve Forbes in the September Issue of Forbes. Borrowing the title was not meant to be an act of intellectual laziness but rather a recognition that it describes the problem beautifully. Give credit where credit is due. Please go read his piece when you get a chance. It is in print at the moment but will hopefully be on the website soon, www.forbes.com. I originally planned to call this Repeal the FDA.
The FDA has dropped hundreds of pages of regulations on the small business owner and artisan trying to serve his customers. These new regulations are putting staggering costs on the artisan blender of tobaccos. The Premarket Review for Tobacco Products is onerous and appears to be designed to achieve one goal, bankruptcy of the majority of the industry. I had a meeting with the American E Liquid Manufactures Standards Association who have also been swept up in the FDA fervor. The estimated compliance cost to apply for product approval for their industry was in the trillions. Yes trillions. Every single SKU, not formulation or blend, every SKU requires its own application.
I stopped in at a local Cigar shop in the Ninth District the same week that the FDA dropped the hammer. All their custom products were gone. The unique character and craft that made them special had been crushed. They cannot afford to be compliant.
So you are not a smoker? Don’t care for cigars? Don’t know what vaping is? So there is nothing here for you to worry about?
Do you like to eat?
Of course but how could the FDA be preventing you from doing that. Look at this piece on You Tube. That’s just a small number of super healthy people, right? How about artisan cheese? yes the FDA went after that as well. They backed down a bit, but you know they are just waiting for the chance to strangle any innovative entreprenurial small producer. Why? They are the all knowing all powerful regulators here to save you from the choices that let your grandparents live into their 90’s!
However the FDA is vital to keep only safe and effective medicines on the market? How about all the outrage over the price increase on EPI Pens? Well it turns out that the product is out of patent. ANYBODY can make one. Just take the existing formula which is public knowledge and sell a competing product. Not quite. The Wall Street Journal just showed that the hurdles to copy an existing approved product are enormous. It is well worth a read. The cost of compliance means that you cannot compete.
This has to stop here. This must be our Red Line on personal freedom and consumer choice. The authority of the FDA to create these types of business crushing regulations must be revoked. This will require Congress to pass new legislation, restricting the regulators and not our fellow American Citizens. Contact your Congressman and Senator. Tell them that you are going to vote based on this issue. Tell them you are organizing your friends to do the same.
I am with the Vapers, Cigar Smokers and Pipe Lovers. The government is going to bankrupt them. Then they will come for your business next.