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Senator Hassan Statement on Committee Vote Against FDA Commissioner Nominee

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) voted against advancing Dr. Stephen Hahn’s nomination for Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) out of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee today.

“Americans must be able to trust the FDA as the gold standard for protecting public health. To do so, the FDA Commissioner must be guided by science and must not give in to political considerations or corporate special interests,” said Senator Hassan. “Yet when questioned by Republicans and Democrats alike in his nomination hearing, Dr. Hahn failed to commit to putting science ahead of politics, especially when it comes to the delayed e-cigarette flavor ban. While I will continue to work with the FDA to pursue aggressive action to address the opioid and youth e-cigarette crises, I cannot vote to advance a nominee to lead the FDA who will not commit to standing strongly against political interference.”

In the nomination hearing for Dr. Hahn, Senator Hassan pressed for a full accounting of the FDA’s past actions regarding the approval and labeling of opioid products. In response, Dr. Hahn committed to responding within his first thirty days as commissioner should he be confirmed to a letter that Senator Hassan and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) sent on this issue over eight months ago.

In addition, Senator Hassan called on Dr. Hahn to protect the integrity of FDA’s statutory authority over flavored e-cigarettes, specifically calling for public disclosure of all meetings between FDA and Juul, as well as any data FDA receives from companies like Juul related to youth e-cigarette use.