Debunking the Right-Wing Obama/CFC/Inhaler Ban Nontroversy
Recently, Christopher Horner at the far-right American blog, Big Government, blogged that the FDA ban on asthma medication containing CFCs was the result of “Obama’s FDA.” Some of which he writes in Breathless: FDA Bans Asthma Medication:
Then, as no Leftist idea is complete without a dash of self-contradicting demagoguery, see the poster below sent to me from someone within EPA. Obama’s left hand is at the same time invoking the same kids the far-left hand is endangering. See the young lady with a less effective inhaler, the kind that Obama and his EPA promiscuously and dishonestly insist are increasingly needed thanks to pollution they courageously battle in the face of others less sensitive to the needs of asthmatics. Really.
Polar bears. Asthmatic kids. Seniors in a wheelchair near a dock or a cliff just begging to be pushed off by some political opponent. All mere props to these people in their headlong rush to bow and scrape before the crowd of statists, anti-technology green movement and other winners that constitute the modern political Left. But, hey. Think of the children.
The above of course may leave you breathless but do continue.
After conducting some research which took me all of 5 minutes it was revealed that this was not an act secretly concocted by the Obama administration but in fact one created during the Bush White House years and finalized in November of 2008:
A Rule by the Food and Drug Administration on 11/19/2008
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), after consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is amending FDA’s regulation on the use of ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) in self-pressurized containers to remove the essential-use designation for epinephrine used in oral pressurized metered-dose inhalers (MDIs). The Clean Air Act requires FDA, in consultation with the EPA, to determine whether an FDA-regulated product that releases an ODS is an essential use of the ODS. FDA has concluded that there are no substantial technical barriers to formulating epinephrine as a product that does not release ODSs, and therefore epinephrine would no longer be an essential use of ODSs as of December 31, 2011. Epinephrine MDIs containing an ODS cannot be marketed after this date.
The above indicates the final cut-off date of December 31, 2011. Immediately we find that the notion that this ban was created by Obama alone has been debunked.
The FDA also has a page titled Epinephrine CFC Metered-dose Inhalers - Questions and Answers where we can find a link to the origin of these bans, Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. A quick visit to Wiki for Montreal Protocol and it’s confirmation reveals the following:
As of September 16, 2009, all countries in the United Nations, the Cook Islands, Holy See, Niue and the supranational European Union have ratified the original Montreal Protocol (see external link below), Timor-Leste being the last country to ratify the agreement, bringing the total to 196. Fewer countries have ratified each consecutive amendment. Only 167 countries have ratified the Beijing Amendment.
In the United States, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (P.L. 101-549) contain provisions for implementing the Montreal Protocol, as well as explicit, separate authority for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate ozone depleting chemicals.
Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher signed the protocol in 1987.
That’s right folks. Ronald Wilson Reagan endorsed the Montreal Protocol to the US Senate that set the wheel in motion that would lead to the banning of all CFC containing products including the inhalers mentioned by Big Government. The letter from Ronald Reagan reads:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 21, 1987
To the Senate of the United States:
I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, done at Montreal on September 16, 1987. The report of the Department of State is also enclosed for the information of the Senate.
The Montreal Protocol provides for internationally coordinated control of ozone-depleting substances in order to protect public health and the environment from potential adverse effects of depletion of stratospheric ozone. The Protocol was negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program, pursuant to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, which was ratified by the United States in August 1986.
In this historic agreement, the international community undertakes cooperative measures to protect a vital global resource. The United States played a leading role in the negotiation of the Protocol. United States ratification is necessary for entry into force and effective implementation of the Protocol. Early ratification by the United States will encourage similar action by other nations whose participation is also essential.
I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Protocol and give its advice and consent to ratification.
The White House
December 21, 1987
To conclude, the chronology of this ban begins with President Reagan who signed off approvingly of the Montreal Protocol which led to the FDA decision under the oversight of President Bush which led to the final ban of CFC containing inhalers while President Obama was in the White House. The father of this short trail in FDA and EPA regulation is however Ronald Wilson Reagan having signed the above quoted letter.
The final conclusion of course is that Big Government and Christopher Horner are utterly wrong in this matter.