Butt out of tobacco biz, N.C. pastors tell Burr..

January 16, 2009 - Four conservative religious leaders from North Carolina Thursday called on Sen. Richard Burr to drop his opposition to a tobacco regulation bill - Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act - he blocked last year. The measure Burr opposes would let the Food and Drug Administration regulate cigarettes and tobacco products, possibly leading to better labeling and, the ministers say, almost certainly saving lives.

The legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives with overwhelming support, but a threat from Senator Burr to block it and a veto threat from the White House helped stall it in the Senate. In fact, Senator Burr and the White House did the people a favor because the measure being considered was written with the wishes of Altria - Philip Morris in mind. As stated so clearly by Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY), "Poison peddlers shouldn’t get to decide how we as responsible legislators fight the war against their deadly products."

Rather than give the FDA the mission of regulating tobacco, Burr said the task should be given to other federal agencies. He said he was working on legislation that would put “a new regulatory map in place.”

The bill must be revised before moving forward in the Senate.

Reference: Butt out of tobacco biz, pastors tell Burr by Mark Binker, news-record.com, 1/16/2009.

Image - Richard Burr, senior U.S Senator from NC - Republican.