Conservatives Launch Bogus Attack On Obama Over FDA's Phase Out Of Certain Inhalers

Blog ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

The conservative media today attacked the Obama administration by attempting to link them to the Food and Drug Administration's decision to phase out "over-the-counter asthma inhalers containing chloroflouorocarbons (CFCs)." The Weekly Standard published a piece by Mark Hemingway headlined "Obama Administration Set to Ban Asthma Inhalers Over Environmental Concerns," which claimed that the "Obama administration would rather make people with Asthma cough up money than let them make a surely inconsequential contribution to depleting the ozone layer."

But it turns out that the FDA was simply following through with plans put in place when George W. Bush was president.

Hemingway reported:

Remember how Obama recently waived new ozone regulations at the EPA because they were too costly? Well, it seems that the Obama administration would rather make people with Asthma cough up money than let them make a surely inconsequential contribution to depleting the ozone layer

Hemingway went on to cite an Associated Press article that explains some details of the inhaler ban, but Hemingway must not have read the AP article too closely. That's because the AP reported that "[t]he FDA finalized plans to phase out the products in 2008" when Bush was president, not Obama. From the AP article:

The FDA finalized plans to phase out the products in 2008 and currently only Armstrong Pharmaceutical's Primatene mist is available in the U.S. Other manufacturers have switched to an environmentally-friendly propellant called hydrofluoroalkane. Both types of inhalers offer quick-relief to symptoms like shortness of breath and chest tightness, but the environmentally-friendly inhalers are only available via prescription.

Moreover, the FDA stated in a September 22, 2011, press release that it began "public discussions about the use of CFCs" for inhalers as early as January 2006 and that it had "finalized the phase-out date for using CFCs in these inhalers and notified the public in November 2008." From the FDA press release:

The FDA began public discussions about the use of CFCs in epinephrine inhalers in January 2006. The FDA finalized the phase-out date for using CFCs in these inhalers and notified the public in November 2008. Many manufacturers have changed their inhalers to replace CFCs with an environmentally-friendly propellant called hydrofluoroalkane (HFA).

The United States has been committed to reducing CFCs ever since it signed The Montreal Protocol, an international agreement that was originally adopted on September 16, 1987, under the Reagan administration.

Despite the fact that The Weekly Standard's attack on Obama was refuted by the very source the Standard cited, other conservatives immediately pounced:

Right-wing radio host Tammy Bruce:

Demint aide and former Townhall contributor Amanda Carpenter:

Pajamas Media:

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