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FDA, DOJ Seek Permanent Injunctions Against Six E-cigarette Manufacturers

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, filed complaints for permanent injunctions in federal district courts against six e-cigarette manufacturers.

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First Injunction Actions Relating to Tobacco Products

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, filed complaints for permanent injunctions in federal district courts against six e-cigarette manufacturers. These cases represent the first time the FDA has initiated injunction proceedings to enforce the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act’s premarket review requirements for new tobacco products.

Each of these defendants failed to submit premarket applications for their e-cigarettes and have continued to illegally manufacture, sell, and distribute their products, despite previous warning from the FDA that they were in violation of the law. The injunctions would require the companies and named individuals to stop manufacturing, selling, and distributing their e-cigarettes. The injunctions would also require the defendants to obtain marketing authorization from the FDA before marketing such products, as required by law. 

“Today’s enforcement actions represent a significant step for the FDA in preventing tobacco product manufacturers from violating the law,” said Brian King, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “We will not stand by as manufacturers repeatedly break the law, especially after being afforded multiple opportunities to comply.” 

DOJ institutes judicial enforcement actions under the FD&C Act in court. Therefore, the injunctions were filed by DOJ on behalf of the FDA against the following defendants in their respective U.S. District Courts:

  • Morin Enterprises Inc. doing business as E-Cig Crib in the District of Minnesota
  • Soul Vapor LLC in the Southern District of West Virginia
  • Super Vape’z LLC in the Western District of Washington
  • Vapor Craft LLC in the Middle District of Georgia
  • Lucky’s Convenience & Tobacco LLC doing business as Lucky’s Vape & Smoke Shop in the District of Kansas
  • Seditious Vapours LLC doing business as Butt Out in the District of Arizona

The FDA had previously warned each of the defendant companies that they were in violation of the FD&C Act’s premarket review requirements for new tobacco products by manufacturing, selling, and distributing new tobacco products without first obtaining marketing authorization from the FDA. However, the defendants continued to manufacture, sell, and distribute unauthorized e-cigarettes to consumers. The FDA’s prior warnings noted that further violations could lead to enforcement action, including injunction. 

Defendants have the opportunity to agree to consent decrees of a permanent injunction, which prevent them from directly or indirectly manufacturing, selling or distributing any new tobacco products unless and until certain prerequisites are met. These prerequisites include that the tobacco products receive FDA marketing authorization, that the agency inspect the defendants’ facilities to determine compliance, and that the FDA notify defendants in writing that they appear to be in compliance with the law. For those defendants who do not agree to consent decrees, the government can request the relevant courts to enter injunctions preventing those defendants from directly or indirectly manufacturing, selling or distributing any unauthorized tobacco products.

“These cases are an important step in stopping the illegal sale of unauthorized electronic nicotine delivery system products,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to work closely with FDA to stop the distribution of illegal, unauthorized tobacco products.” 

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When companies are manufacturing and distributing unauthorized tobacco products, the FDA will typically first issue a warning letter in an attempt to achieve voluntary compliance with the law. If continuing violations are documented by the FDA, the agency may request that DOJ pursue a judicial enforcement action, such as an injunction or seizure. The FDA also has administrative civil money penalty authority for violations of the FD&C Act relating to tobacco products. 

Between January 2021 through Sept. 9, 2022, the FDA issued nearly 300 warning letters, to firms that collectively have more than 17 million e-cigarettes listed with the agency, for failure to submit a timely premarket application. After receiving warning letters, a majority of these companies have complied and removed their products from the market. 

These actions are part of a comprehensive approach to enforcing the law. For example, earlier this month, the FDA issued a warning letter to EVO Brands LLC and PVG2 LLC, doing business as Puff Bar, which is one of the most popular brands among U.S. youth, for receiving and delivering e-cigarettes in the U.S. without a marketing authorization order. All e-cigarettes on the market without the statutorily required premarket authorization are marketed unlawfully and risk FDA enforcement action. It is illegal to sell or distribute e-cigarettes that the FDA has not authorized, and those who engage in such conduct are at risk of FDA enforcement, such as a seizure, injunction, or civil money penalty. 

The FDA encourages retailers to discuss new tobacco products in their inventory with their suppliers, to determine whether such products have the required marketing authorization. The FDA provides the names of authorized e-cigarettes on the FDA’s Tobacco Product Marketing Orders page. The FDA encourages the public to submit potential violations to us through our online form. 

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FDA CDC News

Food Safety Tips for Game Day

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/PRNewswire/ — Super Bowl Sunday is coming up and you may be planning a party with friends and family. These parties often involve finger foods, communal dishes, and treats that are left out for long periods of time—which can lead to foodborne illness (also known as food poisoning).  Don’t let foodborne illness ruin the fun. Check out these tips from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and learn how you can keep your food safe.

Food Safety Tips for Game Day

CLEAN

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and handling pets.
  • Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item.
  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Scrub firm produce with a clean produce brush.

SEPERATE

  • Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from other foods in your shopping cart, grocery bags, and refrigerator.
  • Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs unless the plate has been washed in hot, soapy water.
  • Don’t reuse marinades used on raw foods unless you bring them to a boil first.
  • If baking, make sure that no raw flour is on surfaces that contact other foods.

COOK

  • Use a food thermometer to ensure the safety of meat, poultry, seafood, and egg products. These foods must be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy any harmful bacteria.
  • When cooking in a microwave oven, cover food, stir, and rotate for even cooking. If there is no turntable, rotate the dish by hand once or twice during cooking. Always allow standing time, which completes the cooking, before checking the internal temperature with a food thermometer.

CHILL

  • Refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and other perishables within 2 hours of cooking or purchasing. Refrigerate within 1 hour if the temperature outside is above 90° F.
  • Divide large amounts of leftovers into shallow containers for quicker cooling in the refrigerator.

SERVE

  • Keep cold foods chilled to 40 °F or below and hot foods heated to 140 °F or above.
  • If you’re planning a buffet and aren’t sure how quickly the food will be eaten, keep serving portions small. Prepare a number of small platters and dishes ahead of time and replace the serving dishes with the fresh ones throughout the party.
  • Don’t add new food to an already filled serving dish. Instead, replace nearly empty serving dishes with freshly filled ones.
  • Watch the clock with leftovers. Whether you’re sending “doggie bags” home with guests or are saving them for yourself, leftovers should be refrigerated as soon as guests arrive home and/or within 2 hours!

Learn more at:
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/BuyStoreServeSafeFood/ucm328131.htm

SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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FDA CDC News

FDA Concludes that Existing Regulatory Frameworks for Foods and Supplements are Not Appropriate for Cannabidiol, Will Work with Congress on a New Way Forward

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Statement From:Janet Woodcock, M.D.
Principal Deputy Commissioner – Office of the Commissioner

January 26, 2023

Given the growing cannabidiol (CBD) products market, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration convened a high-level internal working group to explore potential regulatory pathways for CBD products. Today we are announcing that after careful review, the FDA has concluded that a new regulatory pathway for CBD is needed that balances individuals’ desire for access to CBD products with the regulatory oversight needed to manage risks. The agency is prepared to work with Congress on this matter. Today, we are also denying three citizen petitions that had asked the agency to conduct rulemaking to allow the marketing of CBD products as dietary supplements.  

The use of CBD raises various safety concerns, especially with long-term use. Studies have shown the potential for harm to the liver, interactions with certain medications and possible harm to the male reproductive system. CBD exposure is also concerning when it comes to certain vulnerable populations such as children and those who are pregnant. 

A new regulatory pathway would benefit consumers by providing safeguards and oversight to manage and minimize risks related to CBD products. Some risk management tools could include clear labels, prevention of contaminants, CBD content limits, and measures, such as minimum purchase age, to mitigate the risk of ingestion by children. In addition, a new pathway could provide access and oversight for certain CBD-containing products for animals.

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The FDA’s existing foods and dietary supplement authorities provide only limited tools for managing many of the risks associated with CBD products. Under the law, any substance, including CBD, must meet specific safety standards to be lawfully marketed as a dietary supplement or food additive. 

The working group, which I chair, has closely examined studies related to the CBD-based drug Epidiolex, published scientific literatureinformation submitted to a public docket, as well as studies both conducted and commissioned by the agency. Given the available evidence, it is not apparent how CBD products could meet safety standards for dietary supplements or food additives. For example, we have not found adequate evidence to determine how much CBD can be consumed, and for how long, before causing harm. Therefore, we do not intend to pursue rulemaking allowing the use of CBD in dietary supplements or conventional foods. 

CBD also poses risks to animals, and people could be unknowingly exposed to CBD through meat, milk and eggs from animals fed CBD. Because it is not apparent how CBD products could meet the safety standard for substances in animal food, we also do not intend to pursue rulemaking allowing the use of CBD in animal food. A new regulatory pathway could provide access and oversight for certain CBD-containing products for animals.

The FDA will continue to take action against CBD and other cannabis-derived products to protect the public, in coordination with state regulatory partners, when appropriate. We will remain diligent in monitoring the marketplace, identifying products that pose risks and acting within our authorities. The FDA looks forward to working with Congress to develop a cross-agency strategy for the regulation of these products to protect the public’s health and safety.

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FDA CDC News

Nationwide Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops Recall Due to Possible Contamination

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Global Pharma Healthcare is voluntarily recalling all lots within expiry of their Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Dropsdistributed by /EzriCare, LLC- and Delsam Pharma, to the consumer level, due to possible contamination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerted FDA to an investigation of a multi-state cluster of Verona Integron-mediated Metallo-β-lactamase (VIM)- and Guiana-Extended Spectrum-β-Lactamase (GES)- producing carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (VIM-GES-CRPA) infections possibly associated with the use of the artificial tears manufactured by Global Pharma Healthcare. To date, there are 55 reports of adverse events including eye infections, permanent loss of vision, and a death with a bloodstream infection.

Risk Statement: Use of contaminated artificial tears can result in the risk of eye infections that could result in blindness.

Artificial Tears (carboxymethylcellulose sodium) Lubricant Eye Drops, 10 mg in 1 mL, ½ fl oz (15 ml) bottle are used as a protectant against further irritation or to relieve dryness of the eye for the temporary relief of discomfort due to minor irritations of the eye, or to exposure to wind or sun. The product is packaged in a bottle with a safety seal and are placed in a carton box Ezricare NDC 79503-0101-15, UPC 3 79503 10115 7; Delsam Pharma’s NDC 72570-121-15, UPC -72570-0121-15. It can be identified by the photos below. The product was distributed Nationwide in the USA over the Internet.

Global Pharma Healthcare is notifying the distributors of this product, Aru Pharma Inc. and Delsam Pharma and is requesting that wholesalers, retailers and customers who have the recalled product should stop use.

Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact the distributors: Aru Pharma/Ezricare, LLC – by phone: 1-518-738-7602 or by e-mail: [email protected] from Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm EST; or DELSAM Pharma LLC by phone: 1-866-826-1309 or by e-mail: [email protected] from Monday to Friday from 11am to 4pm EST. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to using these over-the-counter drug products.

Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

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  • Complete and submit the report Online
  • Regular Mail or Fax: Download form or call 1- 800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Source: FDA

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