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A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have! - Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bob Barr Criticizes Proposals to Expand FDA Regulation to Tobacco

When all of the leading politicians agree on a policy in Washington, “you can bet the house that the public interest will suffer,” observes Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party presidential candidate. So it is with proposed legislation to expand the authority of the Food and Drug Administration to tobacco.

We all know that smoking is bad for people’s health, but most of us also believe that America remains a free country, in which people should be able to make mistakes. Yet for years “would-be national nannies have been attempting to give the FDA the power to regulate cigarettes and other tobacco products,” says Barr. The latest proposal is moving through Congress with the support of the Republican and Democratic presidential contenders.

But “the last thing we need today is more regulation and more bureaucrats, which inevitably means less freedom,” explains Barr. People know smoking is bad for their health, which is why ever fewer people light up. Washington should leave smokers and other tobacco users alone.

“We should be particularly skeptical when a major business, in this case Philip Morris, lobbies for regulation,” notes Barr. That usually means the proposal is written to benefit a particular company or interest rather than the public. “If we want to preserve America’s prosperity and freedom, we need to be cutting, not increasing, regulation,” adds Barr.

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