November 16, 2009 20:12 ET Reports: FDA Bans Flavored Cigarettes While U.S. Opposes Canadian Ban on Flavored Cigarettes at WTO

U.S. Senate, WTO, FDA: in the Same Universe?

COLUMBIA, MD--(Marketwire - November 16, 2009) - reports: the U.S. government is a house divided. While some government officials are fighting for greater restrictions on the sale of tobacco products, others are fighting to prevent any more restrictions and balking at the restrictions that other nations have implemented on tobacco sales. Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing?

On November 6, FDA posted a special update on its web site, highlighting what its Center for Tobacco Products has done to implement the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. On the list was the statutory ban on cigarettes containing certain characterizing flavors (other than menthol) that went into effect on September 22, 2009. FDA stated that it is also exploring options for regulating both menthol cigarettes and flavored tobacco products other than cigarettes, in efforts to reduce smoking in America; particularly youth smoking. FDA also established mechanisms for the public to report information about possible violations of the law, and has issued Warning Letters to firms who appear to be in violation of the ban.

Meanwhile, at a World Trade Organization meeting last week, U.S. members joined Mexico and 5 other countries in the Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade in opposing Canada's ban on flavored tobacco products. These members voiced concerns that the ban was too restrictive, since it bans all tobacco products with even one of the listed additives, and that it would impact various countries' exports. U.S. Senator Jim Benning (R-KY) is using political means to pressure President Obama to fight the Canadian law -- by placing a hold on the nomination of Miriam Shapiro to be deputy trade representative.

With so many players, each with various powers, it would be easy for importers to become befuddled about what is currently legal to sell in the U.S. A third party, familiar with the government branches, their respective authorities, and their history, is necessary now more than ever for those who wish to sell their products in the U.S. and avoid meriting enforcement action. Benjamin L. England has 20 years of experience at FDA and now runs a firm that gives expert advice to those who are (understandably) confused by conflicting FDA and other government official communications. Even as U.S. laws are proposed, opposed, redacted, and enacted, the team at has the unique skills and expertise to help importers find "the way through."

About was founded by Benjamin L. England, Esq., a former FDA professional with 20 years of direct FDA experience, 17 years of which were obtained inside FDA. Mr. England is now a privately practicing FDA lawyer managing food, drug, medical device, cosmetic, and electronic product regulatory compliance, international trade and customs law. specializes in making the complex understandable.

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